Do You Have a Claim for a Car Accident Injury?
Car Accident Injury Claims: Do You Have a Claim?
There are over 300,000 car accidents in Canada each year. Many of those accidents result in severe mental and physical injuries, trauma, and sometimes, death. After an accident, you can incur costly medical bills and lose money due to your inability to work.
If you or one of your loved ones have recently been in a car or truck accident, you may be able to pursue a car accident injury claim. There are certain steps that you need to take immediately following an accident and a personal injury or car accident lawyer in Toronto can help you along the way.
After you have been in a car accident, the most important focus is always your recovery and wellbeing. This is where your personal injury lawyer or car accident lawyer can help. Learn more about making a car accident claim in Toronto below.
What to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident, there are certain things you should do immediately following the accident. All of these things will ensure you have all the information you need to properly pursue a car accident claim.
Follow these below steps after a car accident:
- Step One: Check yourself and all passengers for injuries
- Step Two: Call 911 and get checked by a medical professional even if you do not have any visible injuries
- Step Three: Move your car off the road (if you can) and get everyone to safety
- Step Four: Ensure a police report is filed, even if you have to go to the collision reporting centre yourself to file it
- Step Five: Exchange information with the other driver, including:
- Full name
- Contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Make, model, and colour of their car
- Step Six: Take pictures and video of the scene of the accident from all angles
- Step Seven: Write down names and contact information of all witnesses on the scene
- Step Eight: Contact a car accident lawyer
One of the most important steps is seeking medical attention. If you wait to be evaluated by a medical professional, your insurance company or the opposing party’s lawyer can claim that your injuries are not as serious as you claim they are. Having medical documents is essential when suing after a car accident.
While it is perfectly normal to check on the other driver and their passengers to ensure their safety, you should be careful with what you say. You do not want to say anything that could potentially shift the blame to yourself and render you liable.
The same goes for speaking to insurance companies. Let your car accident lawyer handle all the communication for you.
What is Duty of Care?
As drivers in Ontario, we owe each other a duty of care. Duty of care can be defined as the legal obligation of an organization or person to avoid certain acts that can cause harm to others.
When driving, we have a duty to stay alert and look out for pedestrians, road hazards, and other vehicles. We need to operate our vehicles in a manner so they do not harm other people.
If you have been injured in a car accident and the other driver is to blame, you and your car accident lawyer will need to prove that they breached their duty of care. Typically, the following items are used to prove the negligence of the other driver and their responsibility in causing your injuries:
- Witness testimony
- Police reports
- Dashcam footage
- Accident photos and videos
- Additional other evidence
Your car accident lawyer can determine if you have the basis for a personal injury claim based on the evidence provided.
Examples of Driver Negligence
There are a variety of circumstances that call for a car accident injury claim. Some of these include:
- Reckless driver behaviour
- Following too closely
- Driving while impaired
- Running a red light
- Lack of car maintenance
- Road rage
- Texting while driving
- Going too fast or too slow
- A known medical issue where a doctor has advised against driving
Each case is different and the cause of the accident will help determine if you have a basis for a car accident injury claim. Once the cause is determined, the next step is to demonstrate evidence that supports the other driver’s negligence.
Tort Claim Car Accidents in Ontario
A tort claim is filed when another person causes your accident. With a tort claim in Ontario, there are two major hurdles to overcome:
- Serious Injury Threshold: The court determines if you qualify to receive financial compensation for pain and suffering by looking at:
- How serious your injuries are
- If the injuries are permanent
- If they have impaired a vital mental, psychological or physical function
- Statutory Deductible: The amount of compensation you receive may be reduced by an amount which increases every year called the “statutory deductible”.
If your case can overcome these two hurdles, then you can pursue a car accident claim. Some of the damages you can seek compensation for include:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses for past, current, and future costs
- Loss of opportunities
- Housekeeping expenses
- Loss of future earning capacity
Statutory Car Accident Benefits
For car insurance policies in Ontario, they are required to include mandatory accident benefits coverage. This ensures that everyone who sustains injuries in a vehicle accident can receive certain benefits. For this type of claim, it does not matter who is at fault.
However, with this type of claim, you cannot receive benefits for pain and suffering. You will receive those with your Tort claim.
If you have sustained serious injuries from a car accident, you can pursue a claim for Accident Benefits, even if you were determined to be at fault for the accident. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you in the best course of action.
Speak With an Attorney About Car Accident Injury Claims
If you or a loved one have recently been injured, you may be able to pursue car accident injury claims. Contacting a car accident lawyer after your accident is a vital step in ensuring you receive maximum compensation. At Ristich Law, our personal injury lawyers in Toronto and the GTA are here to support you and fight for the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation, contact us today for personal injury support and advice.
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