If you have been injured in a car accident in Nova Scotia, you may be wondering how you will afford the treatment necessary for your recovery.
Being involved in a car accident is a stressful experience. Once the initial shock of the collision wears off, the reality may set in that you have been left with injuries that are affecting your daily life. Maybe you went to the hospital or to see your family doctor right away after the accident and were told that nothing serious is wrong. You were sent away with some over the counter painkillers, but now, a few days later, your neck or back are killing you. Or maybe it was obvious at the time of the car accident that you were seriously injured and you are now facing the prospect of recovering and rehabilitating from surgery or a broken bone. Treatment such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, or occupational therapy can be expensive, especially if you are facing a long recovery – who will foot the bill?
If you were driving at the time of the car accident, you probably know that your own car insurance will cover your treatment. All motor vehicle insurance policies in Nova Scotia provide for no-fault accident benefits coverage, also known as “Section B” coverage. This coverage pays for treatment to rehabilitate the injuries you suffered in the accident. It also pays an income replacement benefit under certain circumstances if you are unable to work due to the injuries you suffered from the accident.
If you were a passenger in a single car accident, a cyclist, or a pedestrian, you may be worried that you are on your own because you don’t have car insurance. The good news is that in Nova Scotia, you will be covered by Section B benefits under the insurance of driver.
You will be entitled to “Section B” treatment coverage from your insurance company regardless of whether you were at fault for the car accident.
How Coverage Works for “Minor Injuries”
If your injuries are limited to soft tissue injuries, like a sore neck or back, it is likely that you fall within the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols created by provincial law. The Protocols cover initial assessment and subsequent treatment of strains, sprains and whiplash. The purpose of the Protocols is to allow individuals suffering from these kinds of injuries to easily access immediate treatment. If your injuries fall within the Protocols, insurance will pay for your physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment right away, without the need for a doctor’s referral or advance approval from the insurance company. A family doctor, physiotherapist, or chiropractor can diagnose your injuries and tell you whether your injuries fall within the scope of the Protocols. If your injuries do fall within the categories set out by the Protocols, insurance will automatically pay for your initial assessment and up to 10 or 21 additional treatment sessions depending on the severity of your condition. These treatment sessions can be administered by a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or adjunct therapist like a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or occupational therapist.
How Coverage Works for all Other Injuries
If your injuries do not fall within the scope of the Protocols, you must first use any private insurance benefits you have before turning to Section B to fund your treatment. If you run out of coverage under your private insurance and still require further treatment, or if you do not have private medical insurance, Section B benefits will fund treatment deemed necessary for your recovery. You will need a doctor’s referral confirming that the treatment is required.
How Do I Access My Benefits?
In order to access insurance benefits under Section B, you will have to report the accident as soon as reasonably possible to the proper insurer (yours or the driver’s, as appropriate), fill out application forms and submit them to the insurance company. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help guide you through the process of accessing these benefits and ensure that the insurance company provides you with proper coverage of all items you are entitled to.