What To Do If The Police Find You At Fault For A Car Accident
How do Police Determine Fault?
In most cases, Police arrive at an accident scene after the accident has already happened and are dispatched usually after someone calls 911. In some instances, if the accident has resulted in minor damage, the Police will not attend the accident scene, rather they will advise the parties involved to go to a Collision Reporting Centre.
If an accident is serious or someone has sustained injuries, the Police will try to determine the fault of the accident in several ways.
1. Independent Witnesses
First, they will try to obtain independent witness statements. Independent witnesses are people who were not passengers in any of the cars involved but may have actually seen the accident happen. Often, they are the most valuable statements because they do not have any stake in the outcome of the accident. Unfortunately, not all independent witnesses are always reliable.
2. Driver Statements
Second, Police will try to obtain statements from the drivers involved (or in cases of a pedestrian knockdown, they will try to get a statement from the pedestrian). Getting statements from the drivers is not always possible, because the parties might be injured or may not speak English.
3. Surveying The Accident Scene
Lastly, police will try to figure out how the accident happened by looking at the impact points of the cars, their location relative to the accident and determine what happened. In cases of the most serious injuries or death, Police will call in a specialized investigators to conduct an “Accident Reconstruction Investigation”.
To help with this, we have created a guide on to how to deal with issues if the Police have determined you are at fault for the car accident.
The Police Say the Accident Is Your Fault, How Does This Effect Your Injury Claim?
After the police have completed their investigation, if they have determined the accident was your fault, they will usually charge you with a Highway Traffic Act violation. They will issue you a ticket and either ask you to pay a fine or attend court to fight the charge.
It is important to understand that just because the police have blamed you for the accident, does not necessarily make it true for your car accident case. Simply put, the test for ‘at fault’ that the police use is different than the test used in personal injury cases. Police are not concerned with contributory negligence or apportioning fault by a percentage to each party.
For example, if you are trying to make a left turn and get into an accident with the car coming straight through the intersection, the police might charge you with an improper turn. In a personal injury case, it might be determined that each party is partly responsible for the accident.
This is a determination that only a seasoned and skilled personal injury lawyer can make.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident but the police say it is your fault, you should contact a professional lawyer from Ristich Law discuss your options with you.
If the Car Accident If Your Fault, Can You Still Claim for Your Injuries?
100% yes, you can!
In Ontario, anyone injured in a car accident (with very small exclusions) can claim for Statutory Accident Benefits, regardless of fault.
That means, if you have serious injuries and the accident was entirely your fault, you are still entitled to have your non-OHIP treatment paid for by your insurance company. You may also be entitled to an “Income Replacement Benefit” or in the case of people who were not working at all before the accident, you may be entitled to a “non-earner benefit”. In some cases, you might also be entitled to have a PSW come to your home and provide you with personal care, if you need it.
Lastly, in the most serious injury cases, you could be eligible for up to $1,000,000.00 in treatment, even if the accident was your fault.
The only way you will know if you are eligible for any of these benefits is to contact us right way.
Looking for An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Toronto? Call Ristich Law.
If you have been in a car accident, suffered serious injuries but are being told that accident was your fault, contact Ristich Law today! Our experienced and professional personal injury lawyers in Toronto can help you navigate this upsetting situation and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
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