Last weekend, a multi-vehicle accident in Whitby, Ontario resulted in serious injuries to those involved. According to witness reports, a mini-van traveling eastbound on Victoria Street plowed into 3 vehicles stopped at a red light at an intersection near Bayside Gate. *Source: http://www.durhamregion.com (Whitby woman in serious condition after Saturday crash)
The drivers of 2 of the vehicles suffered minor injuries, while the driver of the third vehicle suffered extensive injuries. The 33 year old woman driver was taken to a local hospital, but was later transferred to a Toronto trauma centre. Her 6 year old son was with her in the car, and fortunately, he was not hurt.
The 58 year old mini-van driver was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but his injuries have since improved.
Durham police are investigating the cause of the accident and trying to determine whether alcohol was involved in the crash. So far, Durham police have determined that the mini-van was involved in 2 other, less serious crashes prior to the incident in Whitby. Police anticipate that charges will be filed.
Parties injured in accidents may file a tort claim, or lawsuit, against the at-fault drivers to financially recover for their injuries and damages. Some of the damages they may recover are lost wages and pain and suffering.
When catastrophic injuries occur, the at-fault driver's insurance coverage may be insufficient to provide full compensation to the injured individuals. For instance, a 30 year old driver who suffers a traumatic brain injury may not be able to return to his job or any other jobs. The driver may be the bread winner in the family but cannot work for the rest of his life because of the injuries he suffered in the accident. In this case, the driver would have significant past & future lost wages claims because he can no longer work. In addition, his pain and suffering would also be significant. In such a case, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance coverage to compensate the injured driver. In other words, the at-fault driver is underinsured.
If the injured driver bought the Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF) 44R Family Protection Coverage, an optional coverage, he may be able to file a claim with his own auto insurance company to recover the remaining amount of his damages.
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