Feb 15 2023 |
A Guide To Motorcycle Accident Claims in Etobicoke
Motorcycles only make up roughly 2% of the vehicles on the road in Canada but account for a disproportionately high number of injuries incurred in motor vehicle accidents. Motorcyclists are 3 times more likely to be injured in an accident, and 10 times more likely to be severely injured.
Driving a motorcycle is dangerous. That’s why it is so important to have an insurance policy that will help pay for damages and medical expenses to help make sure your motorcycle accident in Etobicoke doesn’t also bankrupt you.
Ontario Motorcycle Insurance Basics
In Ontario, to legally drive your motorcycle on public roads, you need to have a valid M1, M2, or M class license, and an insurance policy that includes at least the minimum required coverage. In Ontario, the required insurance includes the following:
- A minimum of $200,000 of third-party liability insurance–to cover damages or injuries incurred by other parties if you are responsible for an accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage–to cover your loss if the other party is uninsured
- Direct compensation for property damage coverage–covers damages to your vehicle if you get in an accident in Ontario
- Statutory Accident Benefits–provides compensation to you if you are injured in an accident, regardless of whether you are at fault
This is the legally required minimum coverage, but it is highly recommended to increase the limits of these coverages and to add supplemental coverages like collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, or named perils insurance. These will help cover your damages or injuries in a much wider set of circumstances.
What You Should Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, it is crucial to know what steps to take while still at the scene of the accident and after you leave.
At the scene of the accident, make sure you exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident, document as much about the accident as possible, and try to find any witnesses. Specifically, you will want to:
- Call 911 to report the accident and get emergency services on the scene, if necessary
- Get the other driver(s) contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license
- Note the year, make, model, and license plate of all involved vehicles
- Take photos of the damages and the scene of the accident
- Record as many details about the events as possible
- Talk to any potential witnesses–record their story and exchange contact information
After you leave the scene of the accident, it is time to start dealing with any injuries you may have sustained and starting the claims process. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and keep a record of all of the treatments you receive and the money you pay.
Filing an Insurance Claim
After a motorcycle accident, you will want to inform your insurer about the accident as soon as possible. All accidents must be reported within 30 days for the claim to be accepted, but aim to reach out within 24 hours.
You will always start the claims process by contacting your insurer, regardless of who was at fault. To file the insurance claim, you will have to provide a lot of information and documentation. You will need the following:
- Your insurance policy number
- Make, model, year, registration, and license plate of your motorcycle
- The name, license number, vehicle information, and insurance information of all drivers involved
- Details of the accident
- Number of passengers involved, if any
- The extent of the injuries of all persons involved
- The extent of damage to your vehicle
- Name and badge number of responding police officers
It is important to make sure all of the information you provide is accurate and that your insurance policy is up to date to improve your chances of receiving full compensation. Your insurer will investigate who is at fault to determine how the damages are paid.
You may have to wait a bit to start repairing your motorcycle, as your insurer may provide specific instructions on where to go for repairs or to get a quote for the damages. Make sure to communicate with your insurance representative and follow their instructions carefully.
Statutory Accident Benefits are a no-fault coverage that helps support anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario. Here is a list of what can be covered when you apply for these benefits:
- Income replacement if you cannot work as a result of the accident
- Compensation for caregivers that have to leave work to care for a loved one injured in an accident
- Non-earner compensation will provide supplemental income if you can no longer carry on a normal life and don’t qualify for the above benefits
- Medical coverage pays for medical expenses incurred through your injury
- Rehabilitation coverage pays for rehabilitation costs
- Attendant care coverage will help pay for a medical attendant
- Compensation for other expenses will help cover other relevant expenses like home maintenance or housekeeping
All of these coverages are helpful, but all have a relatively low maximum unless you add additional coverage to your policy. For example, income replacement will only provide 70% of your income to a maximum of $400 per week.
To apply for SAB, make sure to tell your insurer that you were injured in the accident, seek medical treatment, and fill out the necessary paperwork. Your insurer should help you through the process. Likely, you will need to fill out this application package.
Sometimes, your insurance claim might get denied, or your insurer might agree to less compensation than you expected. In this case, you can resubmit your claim, updating missing documentation or providing new evidence. You can also challenge the decision.
To challenge the decision, start by contacting your insurer and asking about their in-house process for challenging a decision, and try to see if you can work out a different deal. If that doesn’t work, you can reach out to an arbitrator. They will work with you and your insurer to come to an agreement either through a series of meetings or by calling a hearing.
You have a right to obtain a copy of your insurer’s examination report for the accident. If your claim is denied, you will want to look at this report to understand their reasoning.
When to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If at any point you need help seeking compensation for your losses after a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you prepare all of the necessary documentation for your initial claim or application for accident benefits. They will also help guide you through the process of challenging your insurer’s decision if your claim is denied.
If you think the accident was caused by the negligent actions of the other driver or another third party, you might also have a case for a lawsuit against them. If you want to file a lawsuit (known as a tort claim) against the other driver, you will absolutely want the guidance and representation of an Etobicoke motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Etobicoke
Zayouna Law Firm is a leading motorcycle accident lawyer in Etobicoke. If you or a loved one needs any guidance following a motorcycle accident, our lawyers will help you understand your rights and create a plan for seeking the compensation you are entitled to.
If you would like to discuss your options with one of our lawyers, contact us today to book your free initial consultation.