Contact Your Insurance Company
All car drivers in Ontario are required by law to carry valid automobile insurance. If you have been involved in a car accident, you are required to report the accident to your insurance company or, if you were not driving at the time of the accident, to the insurance company of the driver who hit you. In the event the accident is not reported, you will not be entitled to accident benefits and this may also affect how much money can be recovered if you chose to sue the driver who hit you in a tort claim.
Once the accident has been reported, the insurance company will appoint a representative to your file called a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will send you a package of forms; if you find these forms difficult to complete, the claims adjuster or another representative from the insurance company can be called upon to assist. If you need forms, you can find them here.
To get your claim started, submit form OCF-1: Application for Accident Benefits. By filling out and submitting this form, you are informing your insurance company that you are claiming accident benefits from them.
Accident benefits are provided by your insurance company, known as the “accident benefit carrier,” to cover your various needs. A partial list includes medical/rehab benefits for medical treatments such as physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic services; income replacement benefits which cover 70% gross of your lost income, subject to certain maximums; caregiver benefits; and attendant care benefits. These payments from your insurer are called “accident benefits” and are made by your insurer no matter whose fault the accident was. This is why it’s called “no-fault” insurance.
The insurance company may ask that your employer fill out a form to confirm how much you were earning at the time of your motor vehicle accident. The insurance company will also ask that your doctor or chiropractor complete a disability certificate to confirm your injuries. You will also be asked to fill out an election form so they know exactly which benefits you are claiming. Filling out and understanding how all of these forms work can be confusing, and it is a thankless task.
To make matters worse, the forms and insurance laws change from time to time, compounding the difficulty for accident victims to understand how the system works. There are a host of other forms which you will be required to fill out that may test your patience, so be prepared.
The personal injury team at Sharpe Beresh & Gnyś can help you with your insurance claim and help you navigate these difficult waters—simply contact us to schedule a free consultation.