If you have had a car accident in Ottawa, Kingston or Eastern Ontario, you are probably wondering if you have a case to claim for damages or compensation. Here are some factors that our Ontario personal injury lawyers consider when deciding whether or not you have a claim.
1) Was the accident caused by someone’s negligence?
The only way to claim damages is if there is someone from whom to claim them. If you were the passenger in a vehicle you are unlikely to be personally responsible for the accident so you are in a good position to consider a claim. If you were the driver, and you had the right of way, if you were rear-ended, if someone went through a stop sign or a red light, you are likely in a good position to consider bringing a claim. Similarly, if the police charged another person in relation to your accident, that is a positive step for you and your claim.
Some other accident scenarios are more complicated. If you believe you were not at fault in an accident, consider speaking to a lawyer about how to determine who was at fault. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to access the police records (more than what you get at the accident scene). We also know how to hire an accident reconstruction expert, where appropriate.
2) Were you injured in the accident?
In Ontario, you cannot claim damages just because you had an accident. You have to actually be injured. Not only that, your injury has to be “serious” and “permanent”. Don’t assume that you know what serious and permanent means in the context of a motor vehicle accident. The law is changing every month. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand what that threshold means and whether your injuries are likely to meet that threshold.
In addition, except in very serious cases, your injuries have to have a monetary value of more than $30,000 because there is a $30,000 deductible. That means that if your injuries are worth $60,000, you get $30,000.
3) Did You Lose Income because of the Accident?
If you have lost wages because of the accident and you are not fully covered by the accident benefits income replacement benefit, you may be able to claim your lost wages as a result of the car accident. Check with a personal injury lawyer to see if this applies in your case.
Have you been in an accident and have questions about whether you have a case for obtaining compensation? An Ottawa personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed. For more information contact us today at [email protected] or at (613) 860-4529.