This winter has been particularly cold in our region. Cities in Ontario such as Kingston and Ottawa have been hit with frigid weather and winter storms these past couple of months. As a result, the roads have been covered with snow, creating terrible driving conditions, i.e., slippery roads, low visibility, etc., for drivers in Ontario. Unfortunately, treacherous wintry road conditions also lead to car and truck accidents on roadways and highways.
Earlier this month on February 5, 2014, a snowstorm hit Ontario and caused 2 multi-vehicle car accidents and pile-ups on Highway 401. Snow covered the roadways, resulting in dangerous driving conditions. The first accident happened near Belleville on Highway 401, and was a massive multi-vehicle accident. According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), approximately 150 vehicles were involved or affected by a series of accidents on the highway. Of those 150 vehicles, 25 were tractor trailers. The accident stretched for almost 2 kilometres, and a stretch about 8-10 kilometres of the highway was shut down as a result. In addition, other parts of the highway were shut down between Belleville and Kingston due to poor driving road conditions. *Source: Global News (Close to 150 vehicles affected by crashes on highway 401: OPP)
The second accident happened a few hours later, also on Highway 401 and also resulted in a multi-vehicle pileup just east of Trenton, Ontario. In that accident, about 25 tractor trailers and 10 smaller vehicles were involved. Fortunately, there were no fatalities from these 2 massive accidents, but many drivers and passengers were injured. *Source: www.ottawacitizen.com (Crash closes westbound 401 near Gananoque)
Steps to Take After an Ontario Car Accident
Many times, one of the concerns injured individuals may have is, “what am I going to do if I can’t work?” What most Ontario drivers do not realize is that their car insurance policies may provide partial income replacement benefits. This is one of the benefits injured drivers may receive from their car insurance companies. See Ontario Car Accident Law – Lost Pay or Wage Loss Benefits
In addition, regardless of who is at fault, injured drivers’ car insurance companies provide medical benefits coverage. This is the “no fault” insurance system. See Ontario Car Accident Law-Who Pays for Medical Bills?
In order to receive these benefits, injured drivers must apply for the benefits by informing their own insurance companies of the motor vehicle accident within 7 days. Drivers will then receive an application package to complete and return within 30 days of receiving the package. However, if injured drivers were driving without a valid driver’s license or without valid auto insurance, they are not eligible for benefits.
In addition, injured drivers may also file tort claims against the at-fault drivers to recover damages not recoverable from their own car insurance companies. Even though injured drivers receive benefits such as medical or income replacement benefits from their car insurance companies, the amount received may not be enough to fully compensate them for their catastrophic injuries or work loss. Therefore, a tort claim will allow the injured parties to recover these damages, as well as pain and suffering, if they meet the “threshold test.”
It is important to seek advice from Ontario car accident injury lawyers who have helped residents of Kingston and Ottawa. The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have the experience and expertise to walk injured victims through this confusing and stressful process. Call us at 866-384-5886 to schedule a FREE consultation.