Ontario Law requires that all car drivers carry valid automobile insurance. After you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you are required to report the accident to your insurance company, or to the insurance company of the driver who hit you, in the event that you were not driving at the time of the accident. In the event that you do not report the accident, you will not be entitled to what are called “accident benefits” and it may effect how much money you can recover if you chose to sue the driver who hit you.
After you’ve reported the accident to the insurance company, they will send you a package of forms. These forms are called “Accident Benefit” forms. These forms can be difficult to understand and to complete, particularly when English is not your first language. If the insurance company does not send you the forms, you can get them online at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.
The form which starts the whole process is called an “OCF-1 Application for Accident Benefits”. This is exactly what it says it is. It’s an application form for accident benefits. You are required to fill out basic information about your name, age, address, how the accident happened, your injuries, details about your employment, and/or childcare requirements. By filling out this form, you are telling your insurance company that you are claiming accident benefits from them.
Accident benefits are payments made by the your insurance company to cover such things as med/rehab benefits (physio therapy, massage, chiropractor), income replacement benefits to cover a portion of your lost income, caregiver benefits for childcare, housekeeping benefits, your clothes that were damaged in the accident and attendant care benefits. These payments from your insurer are called “accident benefits” and these payments are generally made by your insurer no matter whose fault the accident was. This is why it’s called “no fault” insurance.
There are other forms which you will be required to fill out. The insurance company may ask that you employer fill out a form to confirm you income. The insurance company will also ask that your doctor complete a disability certificate to confirm the extent of your injuries. They will also want you to fill out an election form so they know exactly what benefits you are claiming. There is no question that filling out and understanding how all of these forms work is confusing, and it’s a lot of paper work. In addition, the forms and insurance laws are constantly changing, making it even more difficult for accident victims to understand how the system works. This is why it’s important that you hire an experienced lawyer to help you along the way, to make sure your claim is protected from start to finish.
Brian Goldfinger of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers is a Canadian trained lawyer who practices exclusively on behalf of accident victims. If you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Goldfinger for your free consultation. We speak your language and we are here to help. www.goldfingerlaw.com 416-730-1777
This article is not meant to be relied on as legal advice, nor does it create a solicitor-client relationship.