Drivers and passengers who are seriously injured in car or truck accidents in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby, Ontario are often overcome with confusion and concern. Victims of car or truck accidents often think about the following issues:
- Does the driver who hit me pay for my medical expenses?
- Can I recover for my pain and suffering from the driver who caused the accident?
- What am I going to do about work? I can’t have no income.
- Do I need to file a lawsuit?
All of these questions are legitimate concerns, and it can be daunting when no one is there to help guide injured drivers and passengers through the process. Therefore, after a car or truck accident in Ontario, it is important for injured car accident victims to discuss their legal rights with an experienced auto accident personal injury lawyer.
Filing an Accident Benefits Claim After a Car or Truck Accident
Many residents of Ontario who are injured in car or truck accidents often believe that their accident related medical expenses get paid by the at fault driver or the driver who caused the accident. However, this is a common misconception. Under Ontario accident law, injured victims file an accident benefits claim with their own car insurance company. For more information about filing an accident benefits claim after a car accident in Kingston, see Ontario Car Accident Law-Who Pays for Medical Bills?
Filing a Lawsuit or Tort Action After a Car or Truck Accident
In addition to filing an accident benefits claim with their own insurance company to recover medical expenses, as well as other benefits such as income replacement benefits, injured car or truck drivers and passengers may also file a lawsuit against the at fault driver in the Ontario court system. This is also known as a tort claim.
Individuals injured in car accidents often want to know what they can recover by filing a tort claim. With respect to medical expenses, the insurance accident benefits claim will not provide complete coverage for all medical bills; this is especially true in catastrophic injury cases. In addition, the pain and suffering injured drivers and passengers endure as a result of their injuries is not compensated through an accident benefits claim. Rather, these types of damages may be recovered in the lawsuit.
Under Ontario law, injured motor vehicle accident victims may recover the following damages in a tort claim:
• pain and suffering,
• loss of enjoyment of life,
• loss of income,
• medical and rehabilitation expenses not covered under Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), and/or
• other expenses, such as home maintenance expenses not covered under SABS.
However, it is important to note that in order to make a claim for pain and suffering, injured drivers and passengers must suffer a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function. The criteria which determines whether a car accident injury constitutes a permanent serious impairment is set out in Section 267.5(5) of Ontario’s Insurance Act. This is known as “verbal threshold” or the “threshold test.”
For a detailed discussion about the “threshold test,” see Ontario Car Accident Injury Law – Can You Recover Pain and Suffering Damages Under the “Threshold Test?”
Help After an Auto Accident in Ontario
If you were injured in a car, bus or truck accident in Ontario, including Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby, the personal injury car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford can help. You can rest assured that the accident lawyers from Bergeron Clifford you will help you obtain the maximum recovery you are entitled to. If you would like to talk to a lawyer about your auto accident, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-866-384-5886.