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Ride Sharing and the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule

So here is a great way to get a bad rating as an Uber driver: push the passenger out of the vehicle.

(You can read the sordid details here.)

However, while you probably do not have to worry about being pushed out of a vehicle while in your next Uber, you do have to be prepared if your Uber does get into an accident.

First thing: get as much information as you can regarding the parties involved, including the drivers, the license plates, and insurance information for all parties. Pictures are always helpful, so click a few screens back and pull out the camera app and start snapping.

Beyond that, it really depends on your motor vehicle insurance scenario. In Ontario, anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident may have two potential claims. The first one is a claim for statutory accident benefits, and the second one is a tort action (a suit against the at-fault party; a topic that deserves its own blog post). In this blog, we will only discuss the first aspect of the claim: accident benefits.

Since Ontario is a no-fault province, under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), it does not matter who is at fault for the accident (or who caused the accident) because either party is entitled to receive benefits from his or her own insurance company as needed.

For accident benefit purposes that insurance company may be your own policy, your spouse’s policy, your parent’s policy, the policy of the driver of your vehicle, or some other source.  Section 268(2) of the Ontario Insurance Act sets out the hierarchy of insurers obligated to pay SABs with respect to occupants of vehicles, as follows:

  1. insurer of an automobile in respect of which the claimant is an insured;
  2. insurer of the automobile in which claimant is an occupant;
  3. insurer of any other automobile involved in the subject accident;
  4. the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

This essentially means that if you have motor vehicle insurance, or are covered under any other policy (spouse, anyone you are dependent on, a policy that lists you as a driver, a work vehicle, a rental vehicle) then you would make the claim with that policy, regardless of the fact that you are a passenger in another vehicle. If you do not have coverage under any of those policies, then you would make the accident benefits claim with the driver’s insurance company—again, regardless of fault.

The bottom line is that if you are ever an injured passenger in a motor vehicle accident, there is always a way to make a claim for accident benefits. You can certainly try to navigate through the accident benefits claim process, or you can call us. We aim for five star service.

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