Statuory Accident Benefits (SABS)
How I Can Help
We know lots of people suffer injuries in auto accidents, but did you know that in Ontario there is legislated medical and rehabilitation benefits available to you and your loved ones if you have suffered injuries in an accident? The kinds of benefits vary according to the situation that led to the accident and whether there was an insured (automobile policy) person involved. Even if you are at fault, there are still some benefits available to you. Note that these statutory benefits are only payable after any other types of insurance you may have are exhausted (for example, extended care coverage through an employer’s benefit plan).
To determine whether you are eligible for benefits, it is important to define the term “accident.” Per the Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule, O. Reg 34/10, s 3(1), an accident is defined as:
“accident” means an incident in which the use or operation of an automobile directly causes an impairment or directly causes damage to any prescription eyewear, denture, hearing aid, prosthesis or other medical or dental device.
When we think about automobile accidents, we tend to think of one or more vehicles encountering a static object or another vehicle. However, for the purpose of SABS, even injuries arising from an auto where there was no traditional “accident” may be considered for the purpose of benefits. For example, if you had a bad fall and your body struck the vehicle bumper, you may be eligible for benefits. Even if you were a pedestrian struck by a vehicle and the driver fails to remain at the scene, you are entitled to some benefits.
How can I help?
A licenced paralegal can assist you with:
• Navigating the forms and filing the forms
• Ensuring you meet specific deadlines
• Clarifying which benefits you might be eligible for, and
• Advocating on your behalf with insurance adjusters
If you have been hurt in an accident and you are an insured driver, it is important that you notify your insurance company within seven days or as soon as you can following the accident. Once you have made that call, it’s a good idea to contact a paralegal as soon as possible. By doing so, the details and important timelines can be met which will reduce unnecessary delays and you can get the treatment you need to begin your road to recovery.