Hit by a Car? How to Access Free Health Benefits & Lost Wages
The Biking Lawyer LLP has hosted dozens of "Know Your Rights” workshops and discussion groups with cycling organizations across Ontario (and Halifax!).
One of the most common issues we find is that cyclists are unaware that they are entitled to no-fault auto insurance "Accident Benefits" if they are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle.
Whether at fault or not, if you are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle you are entitled to Accident Benefit insurance coverage.
Accident Benefits are provincially mandated insurance benefits that provide no fault support to people injured in a car crash. That includes cyclists and pedestrians.
You do not need to have your own insurance. The insurance of the car driver that hit you will apply.
If you are injured, you are entitled to health benefits such as:
psychotherapy and other mental health supports;
acupuncture and more.
If you are forced to take time off work, part of your lost income will be paid (up to $400.00 per week).
If you require help at home, that can also be covered. From housekeeping to around the clock nursing care, this is all provincially mandated free coverage you can access.
Of course the degree to which you are injured determines the amount of resources available to you. At a minimum, you will receive $3,500 in medical treatment benefits for Minor Injuries (sprains, strains, etc.). The next category for non minor injuries provides up to $65,000 in treatment expenses. After that people with catastrophic injuries are entitled to $1,000,000(+) in support.
We frequently speak to cyclists who don't access these benefits despite having been hit by a motor vehicle and suffering an injury. Whether you've broken your clavicle or suffered soft tissue injuries, your should apply for Accident Benefits, access treatment and get riding again.
Even if you think you are not seriously injured (seek medical advice), and you may not be able to sue the driver, your “minor injuries” are entitled to no fault Accident Benefits.*
you should always check with a lawyer to see what category your injuries fall into and whether it would be a good idea to sue the driver Who Injured you.
After Dave (our founder and lawyer) was hit by a car in a bike lane, he went to the hospital. He was received a diagnosis, was released and then requested an Accident Benefits application package from the appropriate auto insurer (in this case it was from his car insurer - if you have your own auto insurance coverage this applies even if the driver was at fault - weird, we know).
Dave's doctor recommended physiotherapy treatment. He went to Well Calm Therauptic Care and Massage, who helped him navigate the Accident Benefits regime. They assessed his physiotherapy and massage needs and submitted a treatment plan to the insurance company.
Through the Accident Benefits regime, Dave had access to treatment twice a week.
Seeking treatment for your injuries is critical. Even minor injuries to take time to heal.
That means when you are ready, get some treatment recommendations from your doctor and other treatment providers (physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.) and follow them.
Being involved in a crash with 2 tons of fast moving steel can also psychologically traumatizing. Thankfully, treatment for these road phobias and crash related mental health issues are also covered under the Accident Benefits regime. [Read More Here.]
Do not ignore the signs of injury. Seek medical attention no matter how minor you think your injuries may be.
It makes sense that many cyclists involved in crashes are unaware of the Accident Benefits regime. We bike so we do not have to drive. We bike because often a car is a luxury. Auto insurance is simply not something we consider while cycling.
We hope we have shed some light on what your rights are and what benefits you are entitled to.
Ride safe friends and contact us if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Your right to sue for minor injuries has been replaced with automatic coverage. The hope is that by contributing $3,500 to your immediate recovery needs, you will get back on your feet.
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