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.
Canadians travel frequently to the United States to visit friends or family, for vacation and for work. When a Ontario resident is involved in a car accident while visiting the United States, they will often have access to Canadian and US insurance benefits. Quite often, when a Canadian is injured in a car accident in the USA, the claims for losses are primarily paid by a Canadian auto insurance policy.
Fortunately, auto insurance policies issued to drivers and automobile owners in Ontario, provide coverage throughout Canada and the United States. These policies include first-party accident benefits, as well as coverage for liability and underinsured and uninsured motorists.
With respect to the first-party benefits, an Ontario resident will have the option of electing benefits of either Ontario or the State where the accident occurred, in the case of a car accident in the United States. The election cannot be changed, so it is important to understand the difference between Ontario benefits and the place of the accident before making an election of benefits on your accident benefits claim.
Most US states also have lower minimum insurance requirements for their drivers and vehicles. As such, many Canadians from Ontario will also need to consider advancing an Underinsured or, sometimes, Uninsured motorist claim. These claims must be commenced in the Province of Ontario, even though the accident occurred in the United States. Canadian courts have recognized that Ontario residents injured in an accident in the United States have a direct right to commence the Underinsured or Uninsured claim independently of any claim they might also have against the at-fault driver in the United States. See, Somersall v. Friedman, 2002 SCC 59 (CanLII),  3 S.C.R. 109; Johnson v. Wunderlich (1986), 57 O.R. (2d) 600, 1986 CanLII 2618 (ON CA), 1986 CanLII 2618 (C.A.); Forsythe v. Westfall, 2015 ONCA 810.
It is important for Ontario residents to realize that they may need an Ontario car accident injury lawyer, even if they have hired a personal injury lawyer in the United States. Although the U.S. lawyer will be able to advance the claims against the at-fault driver in the United States, they will not likely be familiar with the first-party claims for accident benefits, and underinsured motorists benefits.
Iacobelli Law Firm regularly represents Canadians in their insurance claims following a car accident in the United States. Lawyer Andrew Iacobelli has experience in Ontario and the United States, and is licensed in Ontario, Michigan and Florida, and is a member of trial lawyer organizations in Canada and the United States. We have relationship and a network with many lawyers throughout the United States, giving us the ability to assist Ontario residents with representation in Ontario, and we can also introduce you to lawyers in the U.S. to advance any part of the claim that must be commenced in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.
If you are a Canadian (Ontario) resident and have been injured in a car accident in the United States, we may be able to assist. We provide FREE CONSULTATION with no obligation to prospective clients. The Consultation is Free, Confidential and without any obligation on your part. Call us any time, day or night, to learn more about your rights or to request a free consultation with a lawyer by calling 1-866-234-6093 or completing our contact form here.
As a personal injury lawyer with license to practice law in Ontario and multiple U.S. States, I am often asked about the rights of Ontario residents that are injured in car accidents while visiting the United States. The number of Canadians injured while travelling to the United States is actually quite high. When you think about it, a great number of Ontario residents travel to the United States for business and pleasure. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time and anywhere.
When an Ontario resident is injured in a car accident while visiting the United States, there are usually claims that can be advanced in both Canada and the United States. To most, it comes as a surprise that a significant claim for insurance exists in Canada, even when you are hurt in the United States. In fact, this is the case, even when no Canadian vehicle is involved in the crash. That is, even if you are driving a rental car in the United States, you will likely have a claim in Canada for your injuries. This also applies if you are a pedestrian and are struck by a car while visiting the United States. Ontario has an accident benefits regime that applies and provides coverage for certain losses caused by car accidents in Canada and the contiguous United States. While the first instinct for many Canadians is to hire a lawyer in the State where the accident occurred, this could mean that you are missing out on substantial insurance claims in Ontario. Most of the time, when a Canadian is injured in the United States, there are portions of the claim that will be advanced agains the at-fault driver's insurance policy in the United States and others that are advanced against insurance policies in Canada.
As a Ontario personal injury lawyer with experience litigating personal injury and car accident claims in Canada and the United States, I take a special interest in representing Canadians that have been injured in the United States. Many times, our law firm is able to settle the U.S. claim for the full insurance policy limits and also handle the Ontario insurance claims, for accident benefits and underinsured motorist coverage. Where a U.S. lawyer is required, we have an established network of co-counsel that we work with in the United States.
We have helped many Canadians injured in the United States, including accidents in Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina. We may be able to help you too. If you have been injured in a car accident while visiting the United States, call us for a Free Consultation at 416-900-1070 or 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here.
A Toronto bus carrying passengers to New York, was involved in rollover accident in New Jersey on Saturday October 6, 2012. According to reports, the Toronto bus rolled over while exiting a ramp on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. More than 20 passengers were reportedly injured as a result of this bus accident, and many were treated in local hospitals.
While it is too early to determine the exact cause of this bus accident, early reports suggest that there may be negligence on the part of the bus driver and bus company. In addition, there are reports that another vehicle may have cut-off the bus, and then fled the scene. The police are investigating the circumstances of this bus accident, and charged may yet be laid.
In addition, this bus accident may also lead to civil suits on behalf of the passengers who were injured as a result of the bus rollover accident. The injred passengers of the bus will be entitled to advance claims for accident benefits and may also be able to bring tort claims. The possibility of another vehicle having had some role in this accident also raises the possibility of an unidentified vehicle claim. Where there is evidence of an unidentified vehicle, a civil suit will likely need to include the insurance company for unidentified motorist coverage. In such accidents, there may be compensation available through insurance, which provides coverage for unidentified vehicles following a hit-and-run car accidents. Accessing the uninsured motorist insurance coverage is complex and there are strict deadlines.
Given that this bus accident involves potentially many parties, and complex issues of liability on the part of the bus driver, bus operator and, possibly, an unidentified vehicle, it would be important for those injured to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer without delay. Since this was a cross-border bus accident that occurred in New Jersey, there are also choice of law and venue issues that will need to be considered by a personal injury lawyer.
Iacobelli Law Firm is an Ontario personal injury law firm with expertise in complex motor vehicle and commercial vehicle accidents. Lawyer Andrew Iacobelli is also experienced in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional claims, and has practiced personal injury law in the United States and Canada. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, or have been involved in a cross-border accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as practicle. The insurance companies will mobilize quickly in order to limit their exposure and defeat your potential claim. Where commercial vehicles are involved, it is especially important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer investigating the circumstances of the accident and preserving evidence, so that the insurance company does not obtain the upper hand.
Iacobelli Law Firm offers prospective clients a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. There is no obligation to retain our personal injury law firm beyond the free consultation. Contact an Ontario personal injury lawyer today.