I was injured in a car accident. How am I going to pay my bills?
By: Taylor Morin, Associate Lawyer
I was injured in a car accident. I am now unable to work and I require expensive treatment. How am I going to afford this treatment and how am I going to pay my bills?
One of the first things that we do when we are retained by a new client is make sure that they are receiving the benefits that they are entitled to under the NBPF No. 1 – Standard Owner’s Policy for New Brunswick. This policy applies to all automobile insurance policies issued in the Province and operates regardless of fault. The benefits that are available pursuant to this policy are commonly referred to as Section B benefits or accident benefits. In this blog, I explain how these benefits can help to reduce the financial stress that is often caused by an accident.
Following a car accident, injured clients often require treatment. Commonly, this includes physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. Unfortunately, these treatments are costly and have potential to cause significant financial strain. This is especially true if the car accident is also preventing you from working. Fortunately, all treatment costs associated with the accident, including medication, are covered by the insurance company of the vehicle that you were travelling in at the time of the accident. This coverage exists for a period of four years after the accident, or up to $50,000.00, whichever comes first. If you have a private medical insurance policy, such as Blue Cross or Sunlife, you must exhaust those benefits first. However, once you have exceeded the allotted coverage under your private plan, the automobile insurance company must cover the totality of your accident related treatment costs.
Another common question that we receive occurs when a client is unable to work because of the injuries that they sustained in the accident. In these cases, there is also a wage replacement benefit that is available. This wage replacement benefit applies as long as you had a job at the time of the accident, you worked 6 out of the previous 12 months, or if you had an agreement to start a job prior to the accident. The wage replacement benefit will cover 80% of your lost wages, up to a maximum of $250.00 per week. This amount is tax free and does not have to be reported as income. Furthermore, in most cases, if you are unable to work because of the accident, you are also entitled to employment insurance benefits for a period of 15 weeks.
After a car accident, we know that all of this can feel overwhelming and stressful. The insurance companies often send many forms for you to fill out. Sometimes, it is difficult to know where to start. Worry not, the Mike Murphy Accident Team takes the stress and confusion out of the equation. We provide you with three simple forms that will allow you to access the medical and wage replacement benefits that you are entitled to. One of the forms must be filled out by yourself, the other form must be filled out by your doctor, and the third form must be filled out by your employer. We will sit down with you and will help you fill out the form that you must complete. Furthermore, if you prefer, we can also send the other forms directly to your doctor and employer. Once we get the forms back, we will then send them to the insurance company on your behalf.
We know that accidents are stressful and we take pride in making sure that our clients are getting the benefits that they are entitled to, without the stress. If you ever have any questions about the medical or wage replacement benefits discussed in this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to assist you in anyway we can, even if you have not yet chosen to retain us.
DISCLAIMER: The publications on this website are intended to provide information of a general nature and not legal advice. The information contained in this publication is current to the date of the publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.