Injured in Accident in USA and Insurance Company Asking You to Choose Benefits - What You Should Do
If you are an Ontario resident injured in a car accident while visiting the United States, you may be entitled to No Fault Insurance benefits. If you have an Ontario auto insurance policy, you may be asked by your Canadian insurance company to choose or elect between the no fault (Statutory Accident Benefits) available in Ontario and those available in the United States where the accident occurred.
It is important to note that No Fault or PIP benefits in the US are state specific. There are great differences between the benefits available in one state and another. While some US states offer generous No Fault PIP benefits, there are many that provide very little coverage. The choice between Ontario and US No Fault Benefits are made available to Ontario residents by virtue of Section 59 of the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. Typically, the Ontario insurance company will provide you with a summary or menu of benefits showing those in Ontario and the US State where your crash occurred. You will be asked to sign a form, and warned that your choice is final and cannot be changed later.
Your choice in benefits can have a major impact on the amount of funding for treatment, rehabilitation, and lost wages. This choice should not be taken lightly. If an insurance company asks you to choose between Ontario benefits and those of the United States, it is time to speak with a lawyer. Make sure you are informed and make the right choice.
Iacobelli Law Firm represents Ontario residents injured in the United States. We have expertise in this complex area of law, and we can help you understand what you may be giving up in Ontario when choosing benefits. Consultations are always free for prospective clients, so do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death in Canada and the United States. Andrew is the author of "Are You a Canadian Injured in the United States? Claim the Damages and Insurance Coverage the Right Way".
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