What paperwork is needed to start a Car Accident Insurance Benefits Claim in Nova Scotia?
When you’re beginning a car accident insurance claim for benefits in Nova Scotia, there are two important pieces of paperwork that must be filled out. One you will complete yourself, while the other will be done by your healthcare provider—most often a physiotherapist.
These forms are:
- Car Accident Notice of Claim and Proof of Loss Form (NS-1 Form), and
- Car Accident Treatment Plan (NS-2 Form).
NS-1 Form: Notice and Proof of Loss Form
This form will be filled out by you, the claimant. It is a standardized form required by all car insurance companies. It must be completed and provided to your own insurance company. Even though you submit it to your insurer, it is likely the at-fault driver’s insurance company will also read it during the course of assessing the injury claim. For this reason, it is important you fill it out to the best of your abilities.
Below are some tips to help you complete key sections of your NS-1 Form.
Part 1: Claimant Information
Extended Health Care Benefits:
- Also known as third-party or private health benefits, extended health care benefits are often provided through your employer or can be purchased separately. Common examples of private health benefit providers are Blue Cross, Manulife, Sun Life, and Desjardins.
- The insurer collects this information as extended health care coverage must be exhausted before the accident benefits insurer will pay medical and rehabilitative benefits past the 90th day following the accident. If your extended health care benefits do not provide 100% coverage for your treatment or medications, Section B will pay the uncovered portion of the approved claims.
- Once the extended health care benefits have been exhausted for the benefit year, the accident benefit insurer will return to paying for all reasonable medical and rehabilitative expenses.
Employment or Training activities:
- The NS-1 form asks for your employment status (full time, part time, self-employed, retired, student, or not employed). Your answer to this question is important because it triggers the insurance company to assess the potential wage loss and the educational impact of the injuries you sustained. Don’t leave this question blank!
Part 2: Claimant’s Authorized Representative Information
This question allows you to enter the contact information for a person who can make decisions on your behalf. It typically applies if an injured person wants to have a parent, friend, or another trusted person discuss their file with the insurance company. You can leave this section blank if you have a lawyer—see part 5 for lawyer’s information.
Part 3: Claimant’s Accident Details
Please provide a brief description of how the accident occurred and how you were injured.
- Your answer to this question is critical because it is a written account of your injuries. Failure to mention details of the accident may present challenges later in the process if there is a disconnect between your reported injuries and your actual injuries at the time of making a claim for compensation.
- Be sure to state how the injuries were sustained. The car insurer representing the at-fault driver will only compensate injury victims for their accident-related injuries.
- The bottom line: A full explanation for all questions on the NS-1 form will better enable you, or your lawyer, to present your claim to the insurance company for a comprehensive review. Arming the insurance company with complete and accurate information about your claim will generally reduce potential friction between the parties and may increase the likelihood of a positive result for all parties.
Please provide a brief description of your injuries and the symptoms that you are currently experiencing:
- This is the most important section of the NS-1 form. If you fail to provide the specifics of your injuries or symptoms, you may negatively impact your injury claim. Tip: A good strategy is to start at your head and work down to your toes to ensure you mention each injury and the related symptoms.
- Injury victims often forget to mention non-physical injuries (psychological injuries) which are linked to the accident. Consider the psychological effects of your accident, which may include: anxiety, depression, driving fear, and post-traumatic stress.
- Many injury victims find that there is not enough space provided on the form to properly provide sufficient information about their injuries. If you need more space, attach a second piece of paper and reference the section you are providing additional information for. Remember: providing full information will only help those involved in the insurance claim process to provide you with benefits and appropriate compensation.
Part 5: Authority to Act on Claimant’s Behalf
This section authorizes your representative (lawyer or trusted person) to act on your behalf. If you have retained a lawyer, list their name in this section. Both you and your lawyer or representative must date this authorization.
NS-2 Form: Treatment Form
In addition to the NS-1 Form, which you will fill out yourself, an NS-2 Form will be submitted to your insurance company. It is to be filled out by your treatment provider, likely your physiotherapist, on your behalf. It is the key to accessing coverage for your medical treatments from your insurance company. These benefits will be paid for by your own insurance company. They are otherwise known as “Section B benefits”.
Be sure to communicate clearly with your treatment provider so that they can fill the NS-2 Form out to the best of their ability. It is important to explain what your injuries are, as well as to make sure your treatment provider knows your employment status. If you have missed work or school as a result of your injuries, it is important the NS-2 Form reflects it.
Jeff Mitchell is the Principal Lawyer and Founder of NOVA Injury Law. Jeff has dedicated his practice to the area of personal injury, accident, and disability benefits law. Contact 1.800.262.8104 or [email protected] to arrange for a free case review today.