What is the No Fault System for a Car Accident in Ontario?
Ontario operates under a “No Fault” Insurance system for car accidents.
This means that when you have been injured as a result of an accident you file the claim to obtain accident benefits with your own insurance company regardless of whether you or the other driver was at fault.
Your own insurer will then be in contact with you to provide the required paperwork to be completed that includes:
- An Application Form
- Disability Certificate
- Employer’ Confirmation of Income
- And potential more
Can I sue the other driver if I am injured in a motor vehicle accident?
A Claim may be advanced in cases where the accident is the fault of someone other than the injured person. An injured person may be able to sue the responsible party for financial losses for not being able to work along with non-pecuniary losses for the loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Do Passengers Have a Claim in an MVA?
Passengers are entitled to a claim if injured in an accident. A Passenger is able to claim against the at fault driver or a claim if their own driver is to be determined to be at fault. The driver’s insurance company will then respond in order to deal with the Claim.
A Passenger is able to make a Claim for Accident Benefits with an Application which results in the possibility of an Income Replacement Benefit or Non Earner Benefit to be paid if eligible. The Passenger is also able to obtain therapy benefits as may be reasonable and necessary in order to assist with recovery.
Is there a time limit on car accident claims in Chatham?
There are required time limits to provide a notice to your own Insurer and to the at fault driver that are set out in the regulations that guide commencement of actions in Ontario.
There is a limitation period in Ontario for when claims have to be started against the at fault driver and /or your own Insurance. The general limitation period runs for a period of 2 years following the time of the accident. Having said that, you may still have a valid claim outside of the 2 year window from the time of the accident if you are able to show that you were not aware that the nature of your injury was going to be permanent and ongoing until after this date. This may be triggered by you finding out a permanent injury through a doctor’s visit, MRI or Cat Scan result from the finding of a specialist that your injury from the accident will be permanent in nature. This may be after the 2 year mark from the accident but your Claim may still be well within the time to start a Court Action.
It is important to consult with a Lawyer to determine if you qualify for a valid Claim to be commenced as soon as you are aware of the fact that the accident has resulted in a significant impairment to you , your friend or a family member.
Should I hire a car accident lawyer for a minor accident?
There is no case law in Ontario that compensates an injured person based on how severe the collision was. Whether you have a minor or major car accident, it is important to consult with a lawyer. A minor accident may result in significant injuries. A major accident may not result in significant injuries. Each situation and each injured person is unique in this regard. It is worth it to contact a lawyer to see if you have a Claim. You have nothing to lose financially and it will provide the peace of mind for you to assess whether or not a Claim would be able to be advanced.
Your own automobile insurer may categorize your injury as “minor” and fall under what is called the “minor injury guidelines “ – MIG for short. A “minor” injury may or not be minor in the realm of whether or not to retain a Lawyer. The Insurer may have made an error in the classification of the nature of your injury. A minor injury may still have a significant impact on the health and well being of your own personal functioning.
When should I hire a car accident lawyer?
It is never too early to consult a lawyer after you have been involved in a car accident in Chatham. There are required time limits (see next question), so time is always a factor.
When we meet with you, we will look at your Claim and decide whether it is a good time or not to proceed ahead. There is no fee that is charged for our initial consultation and we will make sure we have all the facts first before we move ahead and take any steps on your behalf.
Car Accident Basics
Each year in Ontario, thousands of people are seriously injured in car accidents. The aftermath of a car accident can disrupt a person’s life for many years.
In 2019, the Chatham Kent Police reported the top intersections for collisions are as follows:
- McNaughton Avenue East and St. Clair Street: 20
- Lacroix Street and Park Avenue West: 18
- Grand Avenue West and Keil Drive: 17
- Keil Drive and Riverview Drive: 16
- Keil Drive and Richmond Street: 14
Crucial Mistakes to Avoid
- Failing to Report the Accident
- Failing to Collect Evidence
- Not Seeking Medical Treatment
- Admitting Fault
Common Car Accident Injuries
Injuries commonly associated with such accidents include:
- neck injury (whiplash)
- broken bones
- soft tissue injuries
- back and spinal cord injuries
- head injuries
- anxiety and depression
Possible Options for Compensation
In Ontario there are various potential sources of compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident.
Statutory Accidents Benefits
Statutory Accidents Benefits are available through your own automobile insurer and may provide compensation for income loss, medical and rehabilitation expenses, housekeeping expenses, attendant care expenses, as well as caregiver and non-earner benefits.
In fatal accidents, benefits may also be available for funeral expenses and a death benefit.
Statutory Accidents Benefits are available to you regardless of who was at fault for the car accident.
In situations where the negligent actions of another person caused or contributed to the car accident, you may also have a claim against the at-fault person or persons. A claim against an at-fault person is known as a tort claim.
A tort claim can provide compensation for:
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of life
- income loss
- economic compromise
- medical and rehabilitation expenses
- home maintenance expenses.
Family Law Act Claim
Family members of persons injured in car accidents may also have a Family Law Act claim against the at-fault person which can provide compensation for:
- loss of care, guidance and companionship,
- reimbursement for actual expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the person injured in the accident,
- an allowance for travel expenses actually incurred in visiting the injured person during his or her treatment or recovery
- situations where the family member has provided the injured person nursing, housekeeping
- income lost or
- loss of value of services provided.
- In fatal accidents, reimbursement for funeral expenses is also available.