The concept of Priority in MVA claims

In most Motor Vehicle Accidents causing personal injury, both parties involved or more have their own respective insurance who they then apply to for Accident Benefits (AB). What happens when one or both parties involved in the MVA have no valid insurance. This is where the concept of priority comes into play.

If only one driver has insurance regardless of whether he was at fault or not at fault both parties even the driver who was at fault and without insurance can apply to the insurance of the other driver for Accident Benefits. This often leaves people perplexed as they know they were not at fault and the other driver should be penalized for not having valid insurance, Ontario is a no-fault accident province hence the law of priority dictates that the first insurance on scene or the one that has the closest proximity gets to pay the benefits. Even if the parent or guardian of one of the driver’s has insurance their child can apply to that insurer for benefits. Now priority is not something that injured people should be concerned with, they just need to make sure that they hire a personal injury lawyer right away to protect their rights. The insurance companies once an application is received are bound to pay benefits and they can settle the priority dispute within themselves without bothering the recipient of the benefits. When there is no insurance available on either side is when you make a claim to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) is the “payer of last resort” as it provides compensation to people injured in automobile accidents when no automobile insurance exists to respond to the claim.

The major functions of MVACF are:

  • to provide statutory accident benefits directly to persons involved in an automobile accident, who have no recourse to automobile insurance;
  • to provide compensation for personal injury or property damage to victims involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver or a stolen vehicle when no liability insurance exists; and
  • to recover from the owners and drivers of uninsured vehicles monies paid out on their behalf, where legally permissible.

MVACF prepares financial statements on a fiscal year basis which are found in volume two of the published Public Accounts. The Statement of Financial Position, and the Statement of Fund show the balance in the Fund as well as the results from current year operations.

A cautionary tale for uninsured drivers is that if the MVACF ever paid off a claim on your behalf, they will come after you for that money even if you claimed bankruptcy as these are public funds and must be returned.

If you or a loved one are involved in a serious accident, prompt and experienced legal help can save you a lot of money. Please get in touch with our experienced personal injury team who are available 24/7 to assist you in this process.

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