After losing a loved one in a car accident, you may be eligible to receive death and funeral benefits from his or her insurance company. These benefits are available under Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) and can be sought in addition to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Our legal team at Greg Monforton & Partners further discuss the eligibility requirements for these benefits and other legal options that may be available to you. Our firm offers an initial consultation at no cost to you. Learn more about your rights without any obligation to move forward after this meeting.
Understanding Death and Funeral Benefits
The spouse of the deceased may be eligible to receive death and funeral benefits as long as they were legally married or living together for over three years (otherwise in a common law marriage). Other eligible parties may include anyone else who was financially dependent on the deceased.
If you lost your spouse in a car accident, you have seven days to contact the insurance company to apply for death and funeral benefits. The benefit amount is the same regardless of who was at fault for the accident and the type of accident it was. For instance, if your spouse was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle or a driver hit by another vehicle, the compensation awarded will not change.
This benefit is also the same across all Ontario insurance providers. Coverage limits may vary if the policyholder purchased other optional benefits.
To obtain death and funeral benefits, you must provide the insurer with certain documentation, including a copy of the police or accident report, the coroner’s report and the death certificate. A Windsor-based car accident lawyer from our firm is ready to guide you throughout this process.
How Much Are Death and Funeral Benefits?
For the spouse of the deceased, the death benefit is $25,000, and $10,000 for any other dependent. If there is no spouse, the $25,000 will be distributed equally amongst the dependents of the deceased.
In addition to the death benefit, you may also be eligible to receive up to $6,000 toward funeral expenses. This benefit is considered more of a reimbursement than a payment. To claim this benefit, you will need show all of your out-of-pocket receipts for funeral-related expenses.
The benefit amount may be higher if the policyholder purchased additional coverage. The maximum is $50,000 for a spouse, $20,000 for each dependent and $8,000 for funeral expenses.
When Are These Benefits Paid Out?
Once a claim has been approved, the insurance company is required to pay a death benefit within 180 days after the fatal accident.
If the person survived the accident but was unable to recover and passed, the insurer is required to pay a death benefit within 156 weeks after the accident.
Options for Taking Legal Action
In addition to receiving death and funeral benefits, you may be able to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim as long as your loved one was not at fault for the accident.
Wrongful death claims are a type of tort claim under the Family Law Act brought by close family members following a loved one’s death caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of another.
Depending on your situation, compensation could help cover the cost for caring for the deceased, reasonable travel expenses to visit the deceased during treatment prior to his or her death, loss of income to care for the deceased before death as well as loss of care, guidance and companionship.
Request a Free Consultation Today
If you have unexpectedly lost a loved one in a car accident, Greg Monforton & Partners is ready to discuss your eligibility for death and funeral benefits during a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Since we operate on a contingency fee basis, there are no upfront fees for our services. We only receive payment if we help obtain the benefits you need.
Trusted. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (866) 320-4770