If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in the Province of Ontario you may be entitled to claim compensation related to the injuries that you have suffered, including damages for pain and suffering and benefits to compensate for lost wages, your inability to obtain a job or to keep your job.
In 1989, the laws in Ontario related to your ability to obtain compensation for injuries and loses that occur in a motor vehicle accident changed dramatically. A “No Fault” legislative program was made the law in the Province of Ontario. The No Fault Program provides an ability to make a claim for Statutory Accident Benefits (no fault has to be proven) and to sue if the accident was a result of another persons fault.
Accident benefits are benefits provided under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule and provide for potential income replacement benefits, namely non-earner benefits, in the event that you are not capable of carrying on a normal life or income replacement benefits, in the event that you were working and now are not capable of working. In addition, there are many medical rehabilitation benefits that are available so long as they are reasonable and necessary and related to the injuries sustained in the car accident. There are forms which need to be completed and submitted to your insurer to claim the benefits
At fault legal proceeding
The other action that you may be able to bring is a claim against the at-fault driver. There are time limits in order to proceed against the at-fault-driver. You are able to sue the other driver, if you can prove that the other driver was at fault (ie. they caused the accident either in whole or in part). Courts in Ontario permit a splitting of liability for an accident.
1. Pain and Suffering:
You can claim for pain and suffering, subject to being able to prove your injuries are serious and permanent. As well, the claim is subject to a deductible of $30,000.00 if the damages for pain and suffering are assessed at $100,000.00 or less. Further, the Supreme Court of Canada capped the maximum motor vehicle accident amount that may be awarded for this type of damage in 1979. The current amount of the cap is approximately $325,000.00 (which is reserved for the most severe injury ie. quadriplegic).
2. Economic Loss:
You can claim for past loss of wages (special damages between accident and trial) and loss of earning capacity for pecuniary general damages (future loss of earnings). The claim for past loss of wages is limited to 80% of the net value of your expected earnings. Loss of earning capacity, is the loss of your future expected earnings up until your expected date of retirement. The Court can also compensate for partial losses of earning capacity (ie. no longer able to work 40 hours/week and now can only work 25 hours/week).
3. Medical/healthcare Expenses:
You can claim for increased medical/healthcare expenses that are related to the injuries and are not covered by OHIP and your Accident Benefits insurer or any private health insurance you may have. These could include medical expenses (prescription and non prescription), treatment expenses, medical aids (crutches and walkers), attendant care and so on.
Limitation Period - Two Years
Currently there is a 2 year limitation period in proceeding with a claim against the at-fault driver, which would commence from the day you knew or ought to have known you had a cause of action. This would normally be the day of the accident. It is important to put the driver on notice as soon as possible. The legislation does provide for you to do that within 120 days; however, that may not limit your ability to proceed with an action.
The changes made in 1989 made the process of claiming compensation for injuries and losses related to a motor vehicle accident more complex and technical. The ability of an injured person to complete the forms and meet the time periods prescribed would be almost impossible without the services of a lawyer. It is important when selecting a lawyer to pick an experienced lawyer since an improper or incorrect claim may limit or deny your right to obtain compensation.
Free 30 Minute Consultation
If you have a question related to a motor vehicle accident claim, please contact us at (613) 544-1482 to set up a 30 minute free consultation. This 30 minute free consultation, either by phone or in person, will provide you with valuable legal information related to your ability to make a successful claim for compensation.
Contingency Fee Agreements
If we decide, after review of your case, that you will likely be successful in obtaining compensation, a Contingency Fee Agreement will be offered to you. The Contingency Agreement has been used for decades by lawyers in the United States and Canada to ensure victims hurt in a motor vehicle accident can have access to legal services. Traditionally, lawyers are hired by payment for services, as they are received. This is normally based on an hourly rate and reimbursement for expenses incurred on your behalf. A Contingency Fee Agreement permits the victim to have the services of a solicitor and defer payment until a settlement or Court ordered compensation is awarded. As well, since we have evaluated your case, no fee will be charged if no compensation is offered or no Court awarded resolution is made.