Being involved in a car accident can leave crash victims shaken up, frustrated and unsure where to turn. You're aware that significant damage was inflicted on your car and you need medical treatment. Yet, you're not entirely sure who will pay for it. That's because you were either at fault or partially at fault due to a small error or moment of misjudgment. You're likely wondering if you can recover damages at all.
The short answer to this is: it depends. Insurance companies are responsible for paying for accident-related damages, but it is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Drivers are often at a disadvantage when they try to negotiate with insurance companies. That's why it's important that you speak to an experienced car accident lawyer in Toronto who can help you sort out the complexities of your case. Here's what you need to know.
Ontario employs the contributory negligence rule
Ontario employs the contributory negligence rule, which means you can be found partially or completely at fault for your crash. Here is an example:
You run a red light while texting and driving. Another driver (who legally has the right-of-way) broadsides you. You sustain serious injuries, including broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. At the same time, the driver who hit you could have been speeding or also distracted and failed to avoid hitting you.
It's often very difficult to prove fault in intersection accidents like the one mentioned above. Your best course of action would be to discuss the details of your crash with an experienced lawyer. If the other driver contributed in some degree of fault to the accident, you may be able to recover some damages. Even if you're found completely at-fault, you're not out of options.
Ontario is a "no-fault" province
Ontario is considered a "no-fault" province. When you receive no-fault benefits after a crash, your own insurance company pays for your crash-related damages. It doesn't matter if you were at-fault for the accident or not. These are known as Accident Benefits.
All automobile insurance policies in Ontario include standard Accident Benefits coverage. You can purchase optional coverage and increase the limits of standard coverage.
Your Accident Benefits also cover passengers and pedestrians injured in a crash.
Accident Benefits typically cover the following damages:
- Medical care and rehabilitation
- Loss of wages or income
- Loss of educational expenses
- Visitor costs
- Attendant care
- Death benefits, such as funeral and burial costs
- Possibly housekeeping, home maintenance or caregiver benefits
Getting compensated (even from your own insurance company) is often difficult. Insurance companies have an incentive to pay you as little as possible. They will take advantage of you if you give them the opportunity. When you hire a lawyer at Smitiuch Injury Law, we'll deal directly with the insurance company and negotiate for a fair financial settlement.
Why hire Smitiuch Injury Law?
The lawyers at Smitiuch Injury Law have served injured motorists throughout the greater Toronto area since 2001. We know how the law works and how to get the best possible outcome for your case. No matter how complex your car accident case is, you can count on us to help you get the compensation you need. Contact us online or call us to set up your free legal consultation.