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How do my work benefits apply in a car accident case?

If you were working at the time of the car accident, and you had benefits through work, then you are obligated at law to use them before recovering benefits from the car insurance company.

These "work benefits" are referred to as "collateral benefits" or "third party benefits". You will often hear insurance companies inquiring whether or not the injured party had access to any of these benefits. The reason is that the laws which govern car accident claims ( the Insurance Act) require that the injured party first claim collateral benefits. Once the collateral benefits have been exhausted, then the injured party may recover benefits from the car insurance company.

This seems very unfair. Why should your work benefits get exhausted when there is car insurance in place which ought to cover this sort of thing. This is a fair question. Unfortunately, the law isn't always fair.

Auto insurance companies have lobbied the government so that the laws are created in their favor. What the law says, is that if you have access to these sort of collateral benefits, like physic coverage, massage coverage, or even income replacement coverage in the form of short term or long term disability benefits; then these benefits need to be claimed for, and exhausted first before you can recover benefits from the car insurance company. Car insurance companies are sheltered by your work benefits before the car insurance company has to pay out anything. This is just how the law works. There's not much we can do to change it.

Even more interesting is if you recover of Short Term or Long Term Disability Benefit from a collateral provider, it will be deducted/set off from the income replacement benefit which the car insurance company is responsible to pay. This further reduces the insurance company's exposure or pay out in your car accident case. Another example of how car insurance companies have sheltered themselves from liability through manipulating the law to have it crafted in their favor.

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