People always ask me: Brian; I’ve been hurt in a car accident and now I can’t work. How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to get by?
Great questions. Completely legitimate concerns. We here at Goldfinger Personal Injury Law recognize that if you’re name isn’t Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan (net worth 15 billion and the world’s wealthiest Sheikh), chances are that money is a big concern following a devastating car accident.
But first, I’d like to take a moment to recognize all the great emails I’ve been getting from my blog followers. My cousin Natalie formerly of Toronto, now of Florence by way of Los Angeles writes:
Brian: You’ve managed to make the grim, depressing and kinda boring field of personal injury law somewhat digestible! I know that I’m your first cousin and I’m somewhat biased, but I find your sense of humour mixed with great legal information both entertaining and helpful.
Well Natalie. Thank you. Cheque’s in the mail. You continue to be my favourite cousin. And I mean that. I have no issues playing favourites, even if you’re a hippy.
Back to how you get paid following your car accident..
Apply for Employment Insurance under the Sickness/Injury provision. These benefits are available through the Government of Canada. If you qualify, benefits will be paid at a rate of 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. There’s a mathematical formula which the government follows to calculate what your average insurable weekly earnings are; and they are cut off at a certain maximum rate. Your doctor will also have to complete some forms to prove your injury or disability following the car accident. The maximum duration of such benefits is 1 year, and benefits very rarely run throughout the entire period. So, we’d better look at getting benefits from elsewhere.
CPP Disability Benefits are another great source of income if you’re unable to work following a traumatic accident. Ever look at your pay stub and wonder why you have a deduction on it for CPP? Well, this is exactly why! Many people believe that CPP is only available to you after you retire or hit a certain old age (now 67). CPP Benefits are also available to those persons who have made sufficient contributions to the Plan and who meet the CPP’s criteria for disability (severe and prolonged). Speak with your family doctor about applying for CPP Disability Benefits. Your family doctor will be able to assist you in completing all of the requisite forms. Your personal injury lawyer can also help you complete the forms as well. But, you will still need your family doctor to complete the medical questionnaire. If you get denied CPP Benefits, a personal injury lawyer can also assist you with the appeal process. Our law firm normally handles CPP Appeals, but rarely handles them as stand alone cases. Our lawyers normally handle CPP Appeal cases in conjunction with car accident cases, slip and fall cases, brain injury cases etc. We provide this as a service to our clients. As a matter of fact, insurance companies have retained our law firm to act on behalf of our mutual clients to pursue CPP Disability Benefits on their behalf, because if we are successful in securing payment of CPP Disability Benefits, the insurance company will be entitled to a set off of benefits paid. So, it’s a win for the client. It’s a win for the lawyers. And, it’s a win for the insurance company. I challenge you to find another legal scenario where you can secure a “win-win-win”. Good luck with that.
Wonder how you’re going to pay for your medication, treatment or care following your car accident? If the car insurance company refuses to pay, you can always make inquiries to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP); or to Ontario’s Community Care and Access Centre (CCAC). CCAC’s North York office is located in the same building as Goldfinger Personal Injury Law’s Toronto office. We have a great relationship with CCAC. Both ODSP and CCAC provide great resources for accident victims following a traumatic injury. If benefits are not flowing from a private insurer, both of these government agencies are worth a good, hard look. Warning: the wait time to get service may be lengthy, but it’s worth it.
Got back pain, shoulder pain or neck pain following your accident? Is the insurance company not paying for your physio treatment, and you can’t afford to pay for it out of your own pocket? No worries! Many people don’t know this, but there are over 60 OHIP Funded Physio Clinics across Ontario! Seriously! OHIP will pay for your Physio (you may still be asked to pay $10-$20 per session depending on the clinic, but still worth it). Here’s a map and list of the the OHIP Funded Physio Clinics across Ontario.
The road to recovery following a car accident is never easy. It’s full of peaks and valleys. The key is to stay positive, and stay determined. You will get through your dark days one way or another. With help from your family, doctors, friends, loved ones, along with some guidance from a charismatic personal injury lawyer, everything will work out.
Until next time. Any takers on how many more bronze medals Canada will win at the London Olympics?