When a Canadian (Ontario) is involved in a motor vehicle accident in the United States, they still enjoy the benefits provided by Ontario auto insurance. As long as the Ontario resident has an auto insurance policy in Ontario or is otherwise covered under a valid Ontario auto policy, they will enjoy some important protections in the event that they are injured in a car or motorcycle accident while vvisiting the United States. These benefits or protections from the Ontario auto policy will be available even if the accident does not involve their Ontario plated motor vehicle. Whether a driver, passenger or even a pedestrian, an Ontario resident can get accident benefits from their Ontario auto policy.
Usually, the Ontario accident benefits available to accident victims are standardized for all Ontario accident victims. In the case of a car accident injury in the United States, however, the Ontario resident will have a unique option to Elect benefits. The right to elect accident benefits is an option that applies only in the case of an accident that occurs outside of the Province of Ontario. Specifically, Section 59 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) provides that a person claiming benefits may receive either: Ontario Benefits, or Benefits available in the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. This ability to choose benefits is an important consideration when Ontario residents are injured in a US accident. Essentially, the Ontario resident will be able to choose the benefits from the jurisdiction that provides the most needed benefits for the person injured.
How do you choose which benefits to elect?
Every jurisdiction has different benefits, so it is important to understand what is available in Ontario and what is available in the place where the accident occurred. Once you an understanding and appreciation of available benefits you can make an informed decision to protect yourself from the losses caused by the accident. Often, Ontario benefits are greater than those available in the United States, but not always. Get informed.
If I Elect Benefits from the United States, do I have to obtain treatment in the US?
The election of benefits has to do with the types of benefits available and the quantum, including the amount of money and how long the benefits are payable by the insurance company. This might include such things as medical and rehabilitation expenses, housekeeping expenses, attendant care, and wage loss replacement. if you elect the US State benefits, the treatment can still occur in Ontario and the claim will be paid by your Ontario insurance company.
Free Consultations with a Cross Border Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident in the United States or if you are a lawyer with questions about Ontario benefits, call Andrew Iacobelli for a free consultation. Andrew Iacobelli is regularly consulted by injury victims and lawyers in Ontario and the United States with respect to legal questions pertaining to cross border accidents. We are happy to speak with you, and we welcome your calls.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada as well as offices in Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death.