A car accident is a life-altering event that can leave victims wondering who’s responsible. Whether or not it was caused by driver negligence, you need to find out who’s liable for paying your medical bills. Is it the insurance carrier of the driver at fault or the victim’s?
When you want to be compensated for a car accident, one of the essential roles is played by your car accident lawyers. They will represent you in any lawsuit to win your insurance claim.
Paying Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident: Deciding Factors
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, a personal injury lawsuit can be settled in your favour.
But until that final decision comes, what happens to your immediate medical bills? A car accident injury requires immediate medical attention, but how do you pay your medical bills ongoing. Various factors, like the type of accident, the kind of insurance coverage involved and the province in which you live, all play significant roles in deciding this. You need to understand all the factors involved if you want a fair settlement.
Car Accidents in “No-Fault” Provinces
When you suffer an accident, you’re responsible for paying any outstanding medical bills, unless it happens in a “no fault” province. Here, even if the victim is at fault, the law doesn’t require them to pay their medical bills. Instead, the person found at fault must pay damages. And in a personal injury lawsuit, your medical treatment is one of the major parts of those damages. However, the defendant doesn’t necessarily have to pay your medical bills right away.
|● In a no-fault province like Ontario, you can claim accident benefits permitted by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).
● In a non-“no fault” province, you can file a tort claim against a third party if you suffer pain from the accident. This claim allows the victim to be compensated for past and future losses, including income and quality of life.
No-fault car insurance also means your insurer will bear some of the accident’s medical expenses up to your coverage limit, regardless of who is at fault. This process is faster than the ones in traditional “fault” provinces.
Once your medical expenses exceed the province’s “no fault” limit, you need to pay. If you’re covered by health insurance or a province-run health insurance program, they will help bear the costs. If not then you need to figure out a payment arrangement.
If your medical bills exceed a certain amount and your injuries qualify as severe, you can also file a traditional liability claim against the at-fault driver outside of the no-fault system.
But all these procedures take time to be resolved, and you need to be able to pay your medical bills in the interim.
Did You Know?
All automobile insurance regimes in Canada, except in Newfoundland and Labrador, require the victim to pay their own losses, irrespective of who’s at fault. The four no-fault provinces are Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, while most others offer some lesser form of no-fault insurance in case of car accidents.
Car Accidents in Non-“No Fault” Provinces
Getting in a car accident in a province where there isn’t any no-fault insurance will likely leave you responsible for your own medical bills. However, in certain areas, drivers are covered by medical payment insurance that pays the victims’ medical bills up to the policy limit. The rest of the expenses fall upon the victim.
Ontario Car Accident Law
Ontario’s “no-fault insurance” system holds the respective insurance companies liable for medical expenses in cases of car accidents. This applies to all types of vehicle accidents, be it automobile, motorcycle, truck or bus.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSCO) updated auto insurance policies to bring no-fault insurance into effect in 2016. Since then, medical expenses have been divided in the following manner:
- Up to $3,500 is allotted for minor injuries.
- Up to $65,000 has been allotted for non-catastrophic injuries; $50,000 for medical and rehabilitation expenses; and $36,000 for attendant care.
- Up to $1,000,000 is allotted for medical and rehabilitation expenses and attendant care in cases of catastrophic injuries.
Consulting with a reputable car accident lawyer immediately after your accident will help you better understand the nature of the event and its consequences. This will also help in representing your case more accurately in court.
Who Pays the Medical Bills?
In short, there are four avenues of payment if you ever have a car accident in Mississauga, Toronto or anywhere else in Ontario:
- The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers your hospital care.
- No-fault insurance covers the rest of the expenses not covered by OHIP.
- The expense of treatment, rehabilitation and other medical expenses is partly covered by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
- The remainder of the expenses fall on you, the victim.
Ontario’s no-fault insurance provides some relief from medical expenses, but that coverage is limited to the amount the insurer deems reasonable. In emergency situations, you will probably face many additional expenses. That’s why it’s smart to not purchase the least expensive car insurance coverage.
Your settlement will help pay medical bills not covered by insurance. It will also help compensate you for your pain & suffering and lost income. You should also be more easily able to secure long-term rehabilitation and pay your insurance deductible and any property damage resulting from the accident. Have more questions? Contact our team.