Legal Matters: Can family members be reimbursed...
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Jun 13, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Legal Matters: Can family members be reimbursed for expenses incurred while visiting an injured loved one?

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Hamilton Spectator


I was recently discharged from the hospital following a serious car crash. I was in the hospital for 17 days. During that time, family members visited me each day and they incurred expenses including hotel and air fare. Can these expenses be reimbursed?


Family members are entitled to be reimbursed by your auto insurer for all “reasonable and necessary expenses” incurred in visiting you in the hospital during your treatment or recovery. Family members are specifically defined and include spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.

There is no specific list provided in respect of the type of visitor expenses that can be claimed by family members. Generally speaking, visitor expenses can include hotel, mileage, hospital parking fees, food, and yes, air fare.  Family members should keep a record of all visitor expenses incurred including a copy of all receipts.  It is important to note that visitor expenses that are incurred after 104 weeks following the car accident will not be reimbursed unless the injured person suffered what is known as a “catastrophic impairment.” It is critical to speak to a personal injury lawyer who can explain the definition of catastrophic impairment as this special classification provides access to significantly enhanced accident benefits.

Expenses must be submitted in a timely manner. When submitting visitor expenses to the auto insurer, be sure to attach all receipts and documentation in support of the claim to avoid delay in repayment.  If the visitor expenses claimed are denied, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you dispute the denial. There are very strict time limitations to dispute the denial of any accident benefit claims and the process is quite complex. Seek legal advice early on to ensure your rights are protected.

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