Recently, we saw another example of how incidents of stunt driving and street racing have been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic started. On May 9, 2020, Ontario Provincial Police caught a driver travelling 308 km/h on the QEW Highway.
Not only does this behaviour attract the risk of significant fines, vehicle impoundment, incarceration and higher insurance premiums, it also increases the risk of being involved in a serious car crash and reduced entitlement to claim Statutory Accident Benefits.
In the normal course, if you are injured a car accident you are entitled to claim income, medical, rehabilitation, attendant care and housekeeping benefits through your car insurance policy. However, if you are charged with dangerous driving, stunt racing or any other offences under the Criminal Code of Canada as a result of the accident, you may be prohibited from receiving an income benefit and, in the case of catastrophic injury, a housekeeping benefit.
In accordance with section 31 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) while you meet the test for entitlement to an income or housekeeping benefit, your car insurer will hold these payments in trust while your charges are dealt with. In the event you are convicted you will forfeit your right to receive these benefits. This provision also applies if you were in an uninsured vehicle, the person driving did not have a valid driver’s license or the car was being driven without the owners consent.
In certain cases, the forfeiture of an income benefit can result in a substantial monetary loss for the inured driver.
Stacey Stevens is a partner and a personal injury lawyer at Thomson Rogers. Her practice is entirely devoted to helping people who have sustained serious personal injuries from car, motorcycle, boating accidents and slip and falls. Stacey’s expertise has been sought out in interviews on Canada AM, the Business News Network and CFRB Radio, and in newspapers and magazines including the Lawyer’s Weekly, Law Times, The Litigator and The Globe and Mail. Stacey can be reached at 416-868-3186 or by EMAIL.