Protect Your Finances After a Car Accident
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How to Protect Your Finances After A Car Accident

car accident costs

How to Protect Your Finances After A Car Accident

An injury from a car accident can put your career on hold.  As you recover, you may be unable to work to support yourself and your loved ones. Fortunately, in British Columbia, there are a number of options to help you survive while you heal and recover financially.  Three of the most common are private insurance, employment insurance, and temporary total disability benefits through ICBC.  None of these options fully replace the wages you will lose, but they provide an important safety net that you need to take advantage of in the aftermath of an accident.

Private Insurance

You may be entitled to coverage through private insurance set up by yourself, a family member or your employer.  Short-term and long-term disability policies are the most effective way of making sure you still receive a portion of the wages you would be losing while you take time off to recover.  An accident is always unexpected, and you need to plan ahead.  You cannot sign up for these policies after you have been hurt. 

The exact terms of your policy will depend on what you are signed up for.  You can either receive all or a part of your wages if you are eligible to receive them.  Whether you meet the “eligibility” requirements will be determined by your doctor, who will have to fill out some paperwork to prove the nature of your injuries and disability. You must apply to get these benefits, and should do so as quickly as possible to get the most benefit.  It can take some time to be properly set up.

Employment Insurance

You can apply for Employment Insurance if you are off work for a medical disability. You can apply directly online.  Employment Insurance will pay you a portion of your lost wages over a period of time. You should apply as quickly as possible, even if you are not likely to succeed with the application, because you will need proof of denial in order to apply to ICBC for wage loss benefits.

ICBC Benefits

Whether or not you were at fault, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits from ICBC.  ICBC, however, is an “insurer of last resort” and you can only qualify for these benefits if you do not have your own private insurance and are denied EI.  The benefits represent a small portion of your wage loss (they are capped at $300 per week), and are only temporary, but may be a last resort in keeping you afloat after an accident.

In order to receive TTDs, you will need to file a claim with ICBC and fill out a form called a CL-22 and speak with an adjuster.  This allows you to request a number of benefits including those for wage loss. Before you sign any form or speak with ICBC you should consult with a lawyer so to best protect the rest of your claim. 

If you were not at fault for the accident then you any wages that are lost that are not recovered from the above sources can be claimed for in your negligence lawsuit.  It is important to work on getting better, to listen to your doctor’s advice on when to return to work, and to be open and honest with your employer about your limitations.  Remember to keep records of all income lost as a result of the accident. 

The aftermath accident can be extremely difficult financially.  There are options, however, to keep you afloat so that you can take the time to recover properly.  Make sure to speak to a lawyer in order to get a full scope of your options and how you can best recover financially.

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