Repair vs. Maintenance? Are they the same when looking at entitlement to Statutory Accident Benefits?
The answer is no.
In my last blog, I looked at some different situations that fall within the definition “accident” under the Statutory Accident Benefits. Since the release of that post, there has been a court decision released which clarifies that repair and maintenance are different.
The facts of the case were simple. The Plaintiff was checking the level of fluid in her windshield washer reservoir when the hood of her vehicle collapsed and struck her in the back and head. She applied to her car insurer to receive accident benefits and was denied because her insurance company took the position that the activity she was performing could not be considered “use and operation” of her car.
The insurer relied on past court decisions which had held that in situations where a vehicle was being repaired or maintained this was not “use or operation”. The problem with these decisions is that in all 3 cases the vehicles were being repaired.
Two important points were reinforced by the Court in this case. The first is that you don’t have to be driving your car for the activity to fall within the definition of “use or operation”. Secondly, the court confirmed that if you are injured while performing routine maintenance, such as topping up fluids, putting gas in your car or checking the tire pressure, you may still be entitled to receive benefits to assist with treatment for your injuries.
For more on this decision, or to read it in full, click here.
Each case will turn on the specific facts, but if you have been injured while performing regular maintenance, and you require more information about whether you may be able to apply for Statutory Accident Benefits, please contact me directly. I would be happy to review your situation and provide you with an opinion about whether your situation meets the definition of “accident”.
Associate with the Personal Injury and Litigation Group
Disclaimer: This article is provided as an information resource. This article should not be relied upon to make decisions and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship. Please note that this information is current only to the date of posting. The law is constantly changing and always evolving.