If you have been hurt in an automobile accident, the best way to protect your rights and ensure that you are appropriately compensated is to find an experienced personal injury lawyer to work on your case.
The Licensing Appeals Tribunal (LAT) has two divisions. The General Division deals with various issues such as license suspensions, consumer compensation claims, etc. The other division is called the Automobile Accident Benefit Service (AABS). The AABS deals specifically with claims against your automobile insurance provider related to their paying of and quantification of payable benefits. The AABS began taking cases as of April 1, 2016.
After receiving a denial letter for accident benefits resulting from an automobile accident any person in Ontario can apply to the AABS for a hearing. Accident benefits generally refer to very specific types of payable benefits. The first and often largest benefit type, are Income replacement benefits or non-earner benefits. These can be claimed if your injuries leave you unable to work. Income replacement benefits are a maximum of $400 per week and non-earner benefits are a maximum of $185 per week for up to two years. Accident benefits can also include, attendant care benefits, general medical expenses, as well as medical rehabilitation benefits.
Once you have determined that the denied benefits are inside the scope of what the AABS can decide and you have been given a rejection letter by your insurance company, you can consider filing an application. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you will likely have an easier time navigating the following steps:
Starting The Application:
- Complete the application form
- Send a copy of the application form to the other party (the insurance company)
- Complete an AABS Certificate of Service
- Send the application form and the Certificate of Service form to AABS and pay the application fee.
- AABS review the application and assign a file number.
- Once AABS assigns a file number to the application, AABS will contact the insurance company via a Notice of Application, the Notice of Application will ask them to send a response.
Responding To The Application (Insurance Company Steps):
- Complete and send the response form within 10 business days to the other party;
- Send the response to AABS and complete a Certificate of Service.
After AABS receives the response form, they will schedule a case conference.
After the Case Conference in Scheduled you submit a Case Conference Summary Form. In the form you must include some details about documents and evidence that you have related to the case. A copy of the form plus relevant documents must be given to the other side and the AABS at least 10 days before the Case Conference.
At the case conference (can be scheduled in person or over the phone), the adjudicator will try to narrow the issues between the parties. If the parties cannot settle the case, they will likely have to go to a hearing.
All parties will receive a ‘Notice of Hearing’ which will include the date, time and location of the hearing.
Hearings can be scheduled as in person, in writing, or to be heard electronically.
The hearing is a legal proceeding. Both sides each state their understanding of the case and the issues. They will use evidence to argue their position.
After the hearing, the adjudicator will make a final decision, which is usually sent to the parties later.
The AABS is a complex legal process it can be very difficult to navigate without a legal representative. If you have been injured in a motor-vehicle accident, we suggest that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Mehdi Au LLP assists clients with personal injury claims.
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