Why is the government reducing money available to those seriously injured in car accidents?
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that changes have been made in Ontario to deductibles for pain and suffering from car accidents. Those changes mean less money in the pockets of car accident victims. The provincial government is at it again, this time reducing accident benefits or no-fault benefits available to car accident victims in a variety of ways.
“Accident benefits” are the same as “no-fault” benefits in Ontario. (More about “no-fault” insurance here). Accident benefits are available to every victim of a car accident immediately after an accident. These benefits include coverage for medical and rehabilitation expenses, income replacement benefits if you can’t work, and Non-Earner Benefits if your ability to carry on a normal life is seriously impaired.
The government of Ontario has been gradually reducing money available to those who are seriously injured in a car accident, and it’s a worrisome trend. These latest changes will come into effect June 1, 2016 and affect two main aspects of benefits available:
Medical, Rehabilitation, & Attendant Care Expenses
The amount available to injured persons is being reduced from $86,000 to $65,000. It’s a 25% reduction in available benefits that are critical for recovery and quality of life. As well, the number of years that claim benefits for non-catastrophic injuries are available has been reduced from five to ten years.
As well, the amount available to catastrophically injured persons is being reduced by 50% – from $2 million in potential coverage to $1 million. The legal definition of a catastrophic injury in this context is also being tightened, meaning less people will qualify for this sum.
A non-earner benefit pays $185/week to persons suffering a complete inability to carry on a normal life after the accident. This was previously available to be paid for the entire life of the injured person, but has now been limited to two years after the accident.
For persons with catastrophic and very serious injuries this is a significant loss of benefits and it cannot be recovered in the tort claim against the other driver.
Motor vehicle law in Ontario is becoming more and more complicated and you need lawyers who understand how to maximize your recovery following a car accident. Our lawyers can help you successfully navigate your claim. Give us a call at 416-533-7133.