Been in an accident

Frequently asked questions

What is negligence?

Most personal injury lawsuits are based on a claim of negligence. Legally, this refers to reckless or careless conduct that creates an unreasonable risk of harm. For example, if a driver runs a red light and hits you, you could sue them for negligence.

What kind of damages can I sue for?

If you can show that the harm led to loss of income, medical expenses, or pain and suffering, you can sue for damages. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded as well although Canadian courts are typically conservative with punitive awards.

How do I prove who’s at fault?

In car accidents, insurance companies will conduct their own investigation to determine who is at fault or to what degree. As in any negligence claim though, you can help your case by gathering as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of the damages and the scene, talk to witnesses, and try to obtain a copy of the police accident report. 

Can I get damages even if I am partially liable?

Yes. Accidents are not always entirely one person’s fault, and a court will sometimes apportion guilt down to a specific percentage. For example, if a speeding driver hits your car but you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, they likely won’t be found 100-per-cent liable for your injuries. You might be found 20-per-cent liable and your monetary damages reduced accordingly. 

What is no-fault insurance?

Each province has a no-fault insurance system for automotive accidents, which basically means each driver deals with their own insurance company. The legal implication is that each province’s laws also restrict whether you can sue another driver and for how much. 

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