When a passenger is injured in a car accident in Ontario, a common question we hear from passengers is, which insurance company is responsible for my claim? This is a very good question to ask if you have been injured while a passenger in someone else's car. Like many questions in law, this is a question with many possible answers. To understand which insurance company Is responsible for your injury claim, it is important to first recognize that there are potentially two distinct claims that may be available to passengers that are injured and Ontario car accidents.
The first claim is known as an accident benefits claim in Ontario. This is sometimes also referred to as a no-fault claim. Accident benefits essentially provide extended health care coverage and disability benefits to all victims of car accidents in Ontario. We call it no fault, because these benefits are available to anyone who is injured in a car accident irrespective of whether or not they are at fault for, or innocent of fault, with respect to the accident. Ontario law has priority rules, which determine which insurance company is responsible to pay for and administer the accident benefits to a person injured in an Ontario car accident. Generally speaking, however, accident benefits will usually be paid by the injured person’s own insurance provider. As noted, however, there are circumstances where someone else’s insurance provider will be responsible for paying accident benefits to passengers that are injured in a car accident. It is important to note that accident benefits do not provide any compensation to victims for their pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
The second claim that may be available to passengers is a tort claim, which can provide compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Unlike an accident benefits claim, however, the tort claim considers fault in awarding compensation to victims. These claims are paid for by the insurance company for the at-fault driver or drivers. For a passenger, this could mean the insurance companies for the vehicles involved in the accident. Often times, more than one insurance company will contribute to the money damages recovered by the passenger that is injured. Again, to determine which insurance company is more likely to pay this claim, fault will need to be considered.
Where a family member or other person from the same household is driving, the tort claim may be paid by the same insurance company that is also responsible for accident benefits. It is important to note that even in these circumstances, the claims are separate and unique in terms of the basis for payment and the amount of money that will be paid by the insurance company. Even when it is the same insurance company for tort and accident benefits, these claims are administered by different adjusters/claims handlers.
While it is always unfortunate to be involved in a car accident, passengers that are injured through no fault of their own can take some comfort in the fact they can usually recover for their losses through an accident benefits and tort claim.
If you have been injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, you probably have many questions about your rights and the claims process. At Iacobelli Law Firm, all we do is represent injured accident victims just like you. We welcome your questions and the opportunity to provide you with a FREE, no obligation, consultation with an experienced Ontario car accident injury lawyer. Call us 24/7 at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here. We serve clients all over Ontario.
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.
Andrew Iacobelli is an Ontario lawyer that restricts his practice to representing personal injury victims and their families. Andrew is the founder of Iacobelli Law Firm.