Ontario law requires drivers to have auto insurance. Unfortunately, some drivers break the law and drive without insurance. Who can you turn to if you're badly hurt in a collision with an uninsured driver?
Options If You Are Hurt By An Uninsured Driver
If you’re hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver with no insurance, you have two options for securing compensation for bodily injuries, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation treatments, and lost wages:
Uninsured automobile coverage; and
Statutory accident benefits.
For both options, the claim is against your own vehicle insurance policy, so you must inform your insurance company as soon as possible after the collision, or at least within 7 days. You should also make a report to the police after the collision.
Local Lawyers Explain Uninsured Automobile Coverage
Uninsured automobile coverage protects you if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It also protects you if the at-fault driver is unknown (a hit-and-run collision). The purpose of uninsured automobile coverage is to replace damages you would otherwise be able to claim against the negligent driver.
All Ontario auto insurance policies include uninsured automobile coverage. Currently, the minimum limit is $200,000, which means that all auto insurance policies in Ontario must include at least $200,000 in uninsured automobile coverage. The coverage applies to you as the driver and to your passengers if they are also hurt in the collision.
However, it is important to understand that the coverage must be split between all eligible accident victims. So, if you and several passengers in your vehicle are injured, the $200,000 uninsured automobile coverage must be split among you.
You can increase your uninsured vehicle coverage limit to up to $2 million by adding optional Family Protection coverage (OPCF-44R) to your insurance policy. Our Oshawa and Lindsay collision lawyers highly recommend purchasing the additional coverage. If you or anyone in your vehicle suffers serious or catastrophic injuries, $200,000 will simply not be enough to cover the financial and non-economic losses caused by the collision.
Our Lawyers Explain Statutory Accident Benefits
Statutory accident benefits are provided by law under every auto insurance policy in Ontario. These benefits provide compensation for various out-of-pocket expenses, like income replacement and medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. For that reason, statutory accident benefits are often referred to as “no-fault” benefits. If you’re hurt in a collision with an uninsured driver, you can claim compensation against your own insurance policy for both statutory accident benefits and uninsured automobile coverage. For more information about statutory benefits, see here.
Do You Still Need A Personal Injury Lawyer To Claim Against Your Own Insurance?
You’re dealing with your own insurer, so you don’t need a lawyer, right? Not necessarily. Professional legal help is strongly recommended for both statutory accident benefits claims and uninsured automobile claims, especially if you sustained long-term or permanently disabling injuries. Submitting an accident benefits claim can be difficult to tackle alone. Hiring a lawyer from Kelly Greenway Bruce to assist you can drastically increase the chances of your claim being accepted. Our team will help you complete the necessary forms and ensure you receive the benefits and treatments you’re entitled to.
When it comes to uninsured automobile claims, your insurance company essentially steps in the shoes of the uninsured driver who caused the accident. Your insurance company may deny responsibility to avoid paying out an uninsured automobile claim. You have the burden of proving that an uninsured driver caused the collision. The insurance company may try to prove that the driver had valid insurance or deny your claim due to a lack of evidence. Our team can help gather evidence to support your claim, including documents and witnesses, and we will deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Get Legal Advice from a Trusted Vehicle Collision Lawyer in Oshawa & Lindsey
Lindsay and Oshawa lawyers at Kelly Greenway Bruce can help determine the options available if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. We understand that recovering from a car accident injury is fraught with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. That’s why our lawyers are committed to providing personalized support to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. If you want to speak with a collision lawyer to find out if you have a case, contact us today at our Oshawa or Lindsay location.