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Can You Sue for an Injury in a Car Accident?

Date Posted:

July 9, 2024

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    The aftermath of car accidents can be hectic and stressful, even before you consider the complex legal and insurance issues they can lead to. 

    Imagine you’re driving when another car runs a red light and crashes into you. You suffer a broken leg. This serious injury forces you to miss significant time from work, and you have to pay significant medical bills for your physical therapy throughout your recovery. 

    Many people wrongfully believe that because Ontario’s “no-fault” insurance system precludes a personal injury claim. It suggests that fault doesn’t matter, implying that you can’t hold the at-fault driver accountable. In reality, no-fault insurance means that your own insurance covers certain benefits regardless of fault, but you can still sue for severe injuries that meet specific legal thresholds. 

    Since your injuries have major repercussions and the other driver was clearly at fault, you can sue for your pain and suffering, as well as the economic losses not covered by your insurance. This legal action can help you receive compensation beyond your accident benefits, covering medical expenses, lost income, and damages for your pain and suffering.

    At McNally Gervan, our Ottawa car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping individuals understand their rights and follow through with personal injury lawsuits when they have been injured as the result of some other party’s negligence. Here, we take a closer look at everything that goes into suing for an injury that results from a car accident. 

    Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Injuries That Result From a Motor Vehicle Accident?

    The short answer is yes, you can sue for an injury in a car accident in Ontario. The province operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means your own insurance covers most of your accident benefits, however, you can still file a lawsuit if your injuries meet certain severity thresholds. This includes claims for pain and suffering, as well as economic losses not covered by your insurance.

    Understanding the No-Fault Insurance System in Ontario

    Ontario’s no-fault insurance system means that after a car accident, each driver’s own insurance company pays for their medical bills and loss of income, regardless of who caused the accident. Statutory accident benefits are designed to streamline the claims process and ensure that injured parties receive prompt compensation for lost wages and medical expenses without the need for lengthy litigation. 

    Grounds for Suing for Personal Injury

    To successfully sue for personal injury after a car accident, several criteria must be met:

    1. Fault: You need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This involves gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage.
    2. Severity of Injuries: Your injuries must meet the severity thresholds outlined by Ontario law. These typically include serious and permanent injuries that significantly impact your life.
    3. Economic Losses: You can claim compensation for economic losses not covered by your insurance, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost income. Additionally, you can sue for non-economic losses like pain and suffering, which are not covered by your no-fault insurance.

    Legal Process for Suing After a Car Accident

    The legal process for suing after a car accident involves several critical steps:

    1. Proving Fault: Collect all necessary evidence to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault. This can include photographs of the accident scene, witness testimonies, and expert opinions.
    2. Demonstrating Injury Severity: Medical documentation, such as medical records, doctor’s reports, and expert evaluations, is required to prove the severity of your injuries. 
    3. Quantifying Damages: Clearly outline all your damages, including both economic and non-economic losses. This involves calculating medical expenses, lost wages, and an appropriate amount for pain and suffering.
    4. Filing the Claim: Once all evidence is gathered, file your lawsuit within the legal time limits. In Ontario, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident.

    About Car Accident Lawsuits

    In a car accident lawsuit, the primary defendant is typically the at-fault driver. However, you may also be able to sue other parties depending on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, if the at-fault driver was driving a company vehicle, their employer might also be liable. Also, if a vehicle defect contributed to the accident, you might have a claim against the manufacturer. 

    In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover the damages up to the policy limits. However, if the damages exceed these limits, the at-fault driver’s personal assets may be at risk. 

    The value an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide should be underestimated. It can make the difference between securing compensation or being left empty handed. At McNally Gervan, our experience in car accident claims means we understand all the applicable legal proceedings and requirements; we do our best to make sure your case is presented effectively. Whether your case involves multiple parties, severe injuries, or complex insurance issues, our team will do everything it can to give you the best chance for a favorable outcome.

    Typical Settlements and Compensation

    The amount you can expect from a settlement depends on the severity of your injuries and the specifics of your case. In Ontario, there are caps on pain and suffering awards, but economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages are typically fully compensated if proven.

    For instance, minor injuries might result in settlements ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, while severe, life-altering injuries can lead to settlements in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Understanding these factors and having realistic expectations is crucial for your case.

    Contact McNally Gervan for a Free Consultation

    Suing for personal injuries after a car accident in Ontario might seem like a hassle you don’t want to go through. The legal procedures involved are complex, which can make them intimidating, but that does not mean it is a battle not worth fighting. Everyone has the right to seek justice and the financial compensation they need to recover from their injuries. 

    At McNally Gervan, we are committed to helping you as you recover. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss personal injury claims, accident benefit claims, or any question you might have about the options available to you as you get your life back on track.