My Car Has Been Damaged in an Accident. What Do I need to know?

If You Have Direct Compensation Property Damage

In an Ontario car accident, you deal only with your own insurance company for compensation for the damage to your vehicle.  You cannot make a claim for compensation against the other driver or his or her insurance company.  The other driver’s insurance company will deal with the other driver’s car.

A claim can be made to your insurance company even if the other driver does not actually hit your car.  They may have simply caused you to get into the accident by forcing you off the road, for example.

Direct Compensation applies when:

  1. The accident happened in Ontario
  2. Both cars involved have insurance

When these two criteria are met, you may seek compensation for damages to your car and its parts, as well as what’s inside of it.  You may also seek compensation if your car can no longer be used.  The DCPD rules only apply if there were at least two cars involved in the accident.

The compensation you receive depends on whether you played a role in causing the accident or not.  For example, if you are not responsible for the accident at all you may get full compensation from your insurance company.  If you played a role in causing the accident you may not get full compensation.

Are you unhappy with your compensation?

If you are unhappy with the amount of compensation you receive from your insurance company, you have options.  In determining the amount of money they will give you, insurance companies decide on whether they think you are at all responsible for the accident.  If you think your company wrongly assessed your role in the accident you can take legal action against them.  You may sue your insurance company for more compensation.  Remember, you may only take action against your own insurance company, not the other driver or their insurance company.

There are legal deadlines for bringing a claim in Ontario.  Speak to a lawyer about the time limit that applies in your case.

Exceptions to the Rule:

You may only sue another person involved in the accident for damage to your car IF their insurance company is not in Ontario AND their company does not follow the DCPD agreement.  For example, if the other driver is a tourist, who drove into Canada from the United States, is insured under an American company and does not have a DCPD agreement with that company, you may sue them directly.

Also, if your car is damaged when it gets towed, your insurance company may deal with the towing company directly.

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