With the initial shock and confusion that comes after a car accident, it may not be clear to you which party or if both parties were at fault. If you were involved in a car accident and require financial compensation for your injuries, find out how comparative negligence laws may act in your favor and how a talented Toronto car accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group can help you with establishing your claim.
What are the comparative negligence laws in Ontario?
An Ontario car insurance policy generally includes statutory accident benefits coverage, which is the no-fault portion of the policy. This means that it will provide you with certain benefits regardless of if you were at fault in causing the accident. These benefits include medical and rehabilitation benefits, income replacement benefits of up to 70% of gross income, and attendant care benefits.
Addtionally, compensation needed beyond the above benefits requires a direct compensation-property damage coverage claim or a third-party liability coverage claim, which are both based on fault. If it is determined that you were at partial fault for the accident, your recovery will be reduced according to your degree at fault. For instance, if the damages total $100,000 and the other party’s insurance company argues that you are 20% at fault for the accident, then you will only recover 80% of the total damages from the other party, or $80,000.
It is important to note that even if you were found to be only partially at fault for the accident, you may see your insurance premiums rise when your policy renews.
How is fault determined in car accidents?
Ontario has enacted the Fault Determination Rules under the Insurance Act to help determine faults in personal injury claim due to events such as car accidents. Specifically, in tort claims, fault is determined by evidence showing that one or more party’s negligence caused the accident. Examples of such negligence are as follows:
- Violating a traffic law, such as running a red light, turning at a no-turn on red, or going over the speed limit.
- Displaying a level of impairment due to drugs or alcohol.
- Failing to keep a proper lookout due to distracted driving.
- Not using headlights when driving at night or during severe weather conditions.
It is important to retain the services of a proficient Toronto auto accident lawyer who will help you establish fault in your case so you can receive the compensation you need to heal. They will help you collect the proper evidence, such as eyewitness statements, accident reconstruction, photos and videos of the scene, video surveillance, and vehicle inspection.