If you’re injured in an accident in Ontario, there are a few ways to receive compensation for your injuries.
One is to apply for Statutory Accident Benefits, which are a form of no-fault insurance available under every Ontario auto insurance policy. The second is to pursue damages under third-party liability coverage, which the injured party can claim from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
But what happens if an accident involves an uninsured individual? Though rare, these cases do happen, and it’s important to know where to look for compensation.
Insurance, Injuries, and SABS
The Statutory Accidents Benefits Schedule (SABS) is available to every insured driver in Ontario, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. SABS provides income replacement benefits, benefits for medical rehabilitation, as well as benefits for attendant care.
When both drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident have auto insurance, they can apply for SABS from their respective insurers. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured individual, you can still access benefits under SABS from your own insurer.
SABS and the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
Although it rarely happens, motor vehicle accidents amongst uninsured parties do occur. So, who provides SABS in these cases?
The Ontario Insurance Act sets out the guidelines for the priority of payers under section 268(2), Liability to Pay. According to the Act, the entity liable for providing SABS is:
- …”The insurer of an automobile in respect of which the occupant is an insured,
- if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, the occupant has recourse against the insurer of the automobile in which he or she was an occupant,
- if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i or ii, the occupant has recourse against the insurer of any other automobile involved in the incident from which the entitlement to statutory accident benefits arose,
- if recovery is unavailable under subparagraph i, ii or iii, the occupant has recourse against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.”
The payer of last resort in a case where no insurer is responsible for the claimant’s SABS is the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF). This Fund was established in the 1960s in order to provide a safety net for individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents when no other insurance coverage is available.
Third-Party Liability and the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
The MVACF will not only provide SABS but also compensation for property damage and personal injury. When someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident and that accident was the fault of another driver, the injured party can pursue a lawsuit for compensation.
When the at-fault driver has insurance, that lawsuit is pursued through the third-party liability coverage of their insurance policy. However, if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, the injured party can seek compensation through the MVACF.
Compensation for property damages from the MVACF is limited to $10,000 per uninsured vehicle, per accident. For personal injuries, the MVACF can provide non-pecuniary and pecuniary damages up to $200,000 per uninsured vehicle, per accident.
How to Apply
In order to apply to the MVACF for SABS or for third-party liability, the claimant must be a resident of Ontario and the accident must have occurred in Ontario. Beyond that, the application processes for both SABS and third-liability are discussed below.
MVACF SABS Application
A claimant must provide a completed OCF-1 form to the MVACF. This is the Application for Accident Benefits. In addition, the MVACF requires a signed consent form, a completed Form 3, a police report regarding the details of the accident, as well as a letter confirming that they are not a named insured as a spouse or dependent.
For property damage claims of $3,000 or less, a claimant must provide an Application for Payment Under Section 4, a police report regarding the details of the accident, an estimate of damages or a repair invoice, as well as a consent form.
If the property damage is more than $3,000, or if the claimant is filing a personal injury claim, a lawsuit must be pursued. This lawsuit will be against the other driver if their identity is known. If their identity is not known, then the lawsuit is filed against the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services.
Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Individual?
Ontario law provides a safety net for individuals involved in accidents with uninsured individuals. In these cases, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund can provide SABS, property damage compensation, and compensation for personal injuries.
The application process for compensation through the MVACF is complicated and one missed step can result in a delay in payments. For this reason, it’s imperative that individuals injured in an accident with an uninsured individual speak with a legal professional.
Sharma Law has experience with these cases and will see your claims through until you receive payment. Contact us today to begin the claims process through the MVACF.