At McNally Gervan LLP, our Ottawa-based accident lawyers have helped thousands of people who have been injured in car accidents, slip and falls, and defective products. Unfortunately, many of our clients are left with permanent injuries that leave them unable to complete household, personal care, and other activities like they used to. For individuals who are dealing with chronic pain or other lasting disabilities, this can often result in stress, anxiety, and depression. In many serious injury cases, such as spinal cord or brain injury, the whole family becomes affected with everyone else having to chip in to replace the lost abilities of their injured family member.
In Ontario, everyone who is injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident has access to certain no-fault benefits from their own car insurance company, or the insurance company of any car involved in the accident if the injured person does not have their own insurance. As a result of recent changes to the legislation that govern accident benefits claims, there are fewer and fewer benefits available to injured people and their families. This means that the burden of caring for the injured person is increasingly falling on family members. We know from experience that this can have a devastating impact on the whole family, including spouses and children, and that the stress, grief and worry can accumulate to the point of putting the health of family members at risk.
One part of the accident benefits system which is not well known is that the immediate family members of injured people may be entitled to open their own claim to access treatment or other benefits. This is available to family members who are experiencing their own stress or grief as a result of the added burden of caring for family members. You may also be eligible for assistance if you are spending a significant amount of time caring for a family member, or missing work to do so.
These claims for family members are not available in all situations. Every accident is different and it is important you consult a lawyer to fully understand what your rights are. At McNally Gervan LLP, our lawyers are happy to offer a free consultation to help you and your family with the recovery process.