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RECOVERING FROM A CAR ACCIDENT? It's important to know your rights JOSEPH ZAYOUNA Zayouna Law Firm A s of September 1, 2010, many legal changes were made that affect benefits available to car accident victims. Under the new legislative scheme, auto insurance companies provide less coverage for the same premium and charge higher premiums for the coverage that was formerly available. Unless auto insurance consumers opt to purchase additional coverage at higher premium rates, most victims will face significant reductions in the accident benefits available to assist in their recovery. Victims of minor injuries are now governed by Ontario's new Minor Injury Guideline. The definition of minor injury now includes a sprain, strain, whiplash- associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration, or subluxation (including a partial tear), and any clinically associated sequelae. If injuries are categorized as "minor," then medical/rehabilitation and assessment/examination expenses are capped at $3,500. For victims of non-catastrophic injuries, medical and rehabilitation coverage has been reduced to $50,000 from $100,000. Attendant care coverage has been halved to $36,000 from $72,000. These limits include the costs of assessments and examinations. Furthermore, caregiving benefits and housekeeping and home maintenance benefits have been eliminated. Although all of these benefits can be recovered through optional buy-back on insurance policies, most drivers simply opt for basic coverage to keep insurance premiums down. Due to limitations on available coverage, many accident victims could end up paying out of their own pockets for many of the expenses incurred during the recovery process. Ensure that your accident benefits and tort rights are fully protected. The new changes have not reduced the benefits available to catastrophically injured claimants. These victims can rest assured that they will continue to receive their much-needed accident benefits. Innocent car accident victims can seek additional compensation through "tort" by suing the at-fault party. A lawsuit in tort can compensate victims for numerous losses including medical/ rehabilitation expenses, attendant care 15 expenses, pain, and suffering, etc. Tort compensation has become increasingly important under the new legislative scheme as most drivers are inadequately covered under their accident benefits policy. These drivers must supplement their accident benefits through a lawsuit in tort. It is important to retain a qualified personal injury lawyer to ensure that both your accident benefits and tort rights are fully protected. Zayouna Law Firm specializes in personal injury law. We are dedicated to providing assertive legal services to those suffering from serious personal injuries. Our lawyers have an outstanding track record of verdicts and settlements. Our impeccable level of experience and familiarity with every component of each unique case helps drive our success. Let us help you. Joseph Zayouna Zayouna Law Firm 416-622-0003 PERSONAL INJURY

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