After you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are A LOT of forms to complete for the insurance company in order for you to start recovering benefits.
It’s not simple. You have to jump through a lot of hoops. The process can be long, tedious and very frustrating.
Why don’t they just make the process simple? I have no idea. The forms are created by the government, but are heavily influenced by the lobbying efforts of large insurance companies. So, the forms, along with the questions in the forms are skewed from the outset to create a bias against innocent accident victims and in favour of large, deep pocked insurance companies.
If English isn’t your first language, or you have problems completing paper work; or you have sustained a brain injury in the accident, then completing these forms will be particularly difficult. Get a lawyer to help you out.
The purpose of this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog Post is to assist you in completing the somewhat tricky OCF-3 Disability Certificate follow a car accident.
If your own insurance company, or your lawyer has not already provided you with an OCF-3 Disability Certificate, you can find one here at the Financial Services Commission Website, or on the Goldfinger Personal Injury Law Website. Or, you can always call Brian Goldfinger; he’d be pleased to give you a copy of the form.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF FILLING OUT AN OCF-3?
Completing an OCF-3 Disability Certificate is the law.
It’s the document which tells the insurance company what your injuries are, and how they have impacted your life and your ability to return to work. The OCF-3 can be completed by any of the following people:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech-Language Pathologist
If the person’s profession who has completed the OCF-3 is NOT on the above noted list, then it’s not being completed properly and the insurance company is not required to accept it.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE OCF-3
Insert the Claim #, Policy # and date of loss in the top right hand corner of the form (there’s a box in which you place that information).
Part 1: Applicant Information is to be completed by the Applicant. That’s you! The injured accident victim. This is probably the easiest part of the form. All you need to do is fill out the following basic information:
- Date of Birth
- Gender (Male/Female)
- Telephone #
- Last Name
- Middle Name
- First Name
- Email Address
- Street Address with City and Postal Code and Province
- Are you currently working? If No, when’s the last day you worked?
- Were you working at the time of the accident? If Yes, what type of work were you doing?
- Were you the Primary Caregiver for anyone you lived with at the time of the car accident?
- Were you enrolled in an education program at the time of the car accident?
Part 2: Insurance Company Information. This part is also to be completed by the Application. That’s you again! This is probably the second easiest part of the form to complete. IF you have already been dealing with the insurance company, or they have sent you the Disability Certificate to complete, the finding out the insurance company’s information and claim # should be as simple as looking at the letter head upon which the letter was sent; or in the email signature line. If you can’t find that information, your lawyer will also be able to assist you in this regard. Here is the information required in Part 2:
- Name of the Insurance Company
- Name of the adjuster handling your claim
- Name of Policy Holder
- Telephone and Fax # of the Insurer
Part 3: Here’s where it can start to get tricky if you’re filling out the Disability Certificate on your own. In this part, you are required to provide a “brief description of the accident and what happened to you“; and to “describe any injuries you sustained as a direct result of the accident“. What makes this part tricky is that the section is VERY small to write in. Although there is a box stating that you can attach additional sheets for this part, few people actually notice or take advantage of this part. Being clear and concise in such a short amount of space is difficult. Also important is that it’s in this Part, that the insurance company gets its first account of HOW the accident happened, and WHAT INJURIES you sustained as a direct result of the car accident. Lawyers for the insurance company look to this part and try to use what you, or somebody else has written on your behalf in this section against you. Liability and damages are covered here, and those are two big parts of any car accident case, so it’s important not to mess this section up. Having a good description of your injuries is important. So too is having a good description of how the car accident happened, particularly if liability is going to be contested by the other driver; which it often is.
Part 4: This part requires you to print your name, sign your name, and date the Disability Certificate. Failure to do so makes the OCF-3 Disability certificate INVALID. People can overlook this part, because often we sign forms at the END or on the last page of the form. But for the OCF-3 Disability Certificate, the claimant is required to sign on page #2 of a 4 page form. Odd? Yes.
Parts 5-10: These parts are required to be completed by one of the doctors or health care professionals I have identified above. If the form isn’t, then it’s INVALID. Many doctors or health care professionals may NOT have ever seen a form like this before; so they too may need a tutorial from a lawyer in terms of completing the form. There are A LOT of tricky questions which are identified in the NEGATIVE. Here’s an example:
1) Is the Applicant substantially UNABLE to perform the essential tasks of his/her employment at the time of the accident as a result of and within 104 weeks of the accident?
2) Can the Applicant return to work on modified duties?
2) Does the Applicant suffer a complete INability to carry on a normal life?
If the Applicant can’t work at all and has sustained an inability to carry on a normal life, then question #1 will be answered “yes”, and question #2 will be answered “no” and question #3 will be answered “yes“. The person completing the form has got to be careful not to answer it blindly, otherwise, they will do more damage to the accident victim’s claim.
The Disability Certificate, once completed, needs to be sent to the insurance company immediately. This form gives them an opening glance in to the accident victim’s injuries and the nature of the car accident. Without this form being completed, and being completed properly, NO ACCIDENT BENEFITS WILL BE PAID. NONE.