Injury Lawyers Since 1984

Uninsured or underinsured car accident claims

Apr 4, 2020 | Car Accidents, Initial Consultation

Moussa Sabzehghabaei

Personal Injury Lawyer

Have you been injured when driving a car that was uninsured or underinsured? Have you been convicted of driving without valid car insurance? The law is very clear about the benefits awarded to drivers who are uninsured or underinsured if they sustain injuries. For instance, the injured driver may not be entitled to any income replacement benefits or non-earner benefits. Uninsured drivers may also not be allowed to sue the at-fault party to recover damages for the injuries or property damage sustained.

However, you may still be liable for the mandatory uninsured automobile coverage, which is limited to $200,000. This is set aside to protect uninsured drivers who cannot file a claim under third party liability coverage after being involved in a car accident. In the event that the injured person doesn’t have any insurance available to file a claim, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund is considered as a last resort. This can cater to the injured’s medical expenses and other forms of damage.

Underinsured Drivers

If underinsured, the policy limit that has been put in place may not be enough to provide the victim with the compensation needed to cater for damages incurred. In this case, there’s an optional benefit that can be accessed by underinsured drivers known as the Family Protection Coverage. Some people pay for this as part of the insurance premiums and it offers additional coverage when involved in an accident with an underinsured driver.

The Family Protection Policy, also known as OPCF 44R coverage is ideal when the driver at fault doesn’t have enough coverage to compensate the injured victim. If the injured party has this form of coverage, he/she may file a claim to get compensated for sustained injuries. This coverage only caters for the difference between the at-fault driver’s liability policy limit and the limit of the injured party’s coverage.

The OPC 44R coverage comes in handy when someone is injured in an accident and the at-fault driver’s policy doesn’t have sufficient funds to take care of the victim’s damages. If the accident involves an injured pedestrian, the victim will be able to first access funds through a policy in which they are named insured then through the driver’s insured policy. There’s also a limit on liability insurance for rented cars. For instance, if a rented van is involved in an accident, the liability is limited to $1,000,000, which is shared among all the victims.

Why is Uninsured Auto Coverage Mandatory in Ontario?

Uninsured auto coverage is designed to protect accident victims when they sustain injuries in an accident that is caused by a motorist without any assets or insurance to compensate for the victim’s injuries. Without this coverage, victims who are injured by uninsured or underinsured motorists would be left with little or no access to funds to pay for their damages or injuries. This coverage also helps to expedite the process of receiving funds needed to compensate for the victim’s losses and expenses incurred from the accident. It ensures that victims don’t have to pay for losses out of pocket and can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other material losses from the insurer.

What should you do if someone doesn’t give their insurance info?

If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t want to give their insurance information, contact the police. Drivers are obligated by law to exchange insurance information when an accident occurs. You may obtain whatever information you can about the driver, such as their license plate and a description of the car. Getting this information will help locate the liable driver’s insurance and to ensure their insurer has opened a claim.

Statute of limitations to file an uninsured car accident claim

If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Ontario, it’s important to contact a lawyer immediately. Ontario law requires that you file a claim against the uninsured motorist within two years from the date of your injury. However, you are also required to give the liable driver as well as one’s own accident benefits insurer notice of your intent to file tort and accident benefits claims with prescribed times from the accident. You need to meet the legal deadlines in order to secure the compensation you need after the accident. A reputable lawyer can help you from start to end. You’ll get help filing the notification letter, gathering witnesses, and conducting all the necessary investigations to support your claim. By filing the claim as soon as possible, you’ll give your legal team sufficient time to investigate the incident and gather the required documents.

Get Legal Advice

There are specific laws that have been put in place to ensure you and your loved ones are adequately protected when involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Consequently, if you happen to have sustained injuries after an accident and you lack adequate insurance to get fully compensated, reach out to a lawyer who will help you understand your rights.

An experienced auto accident lawyer will advise you on the options to consider in order to recover full and fair compensation. Speak to our car accident lawyers today.