OTTAWA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER – Most personal injury lawyers are quite adept at naviagting though the injury waters. We can speak about compression fractures, and depression, rotator cuff tears and brain injury. What you don’t hear much about is what happens when it is not clear who, or what caused an accident.
What do you do if the injuries are serious, but it is not 100% clear who is at fault? That can happen if people’s injuries are so serious that they cannot recall what occured at the accident scene. Sometimes, fault is unclear because two or more drivers involved have different stories.
In Ontario, we have the principle of contributory negligence. If you are partly at fault, your damages are reduced to the extent that you are at fault. For example, if your damages are $200,000 and you are found 50% responsible for the accident, you would collect $100,000. That means that for serious injuries, it can certainly still be worth advancing a claim even where some contributory negligence is likely.
There are a number of issues we look at when considering who is at fault in an accident:
*The Motor Vehicle Accident Report prepared by the police will indicate if a ticket or other charges were laid. That can be a helpful piece of information.
*Old fashioned leg work. Our investigators canvass for witnesses and collected statements, often recorded.
* In more serious cases, the police produce an elaborate report known as a Technical Traffic Collision Investigation (TTCI). They can exceed 1000 pages. These reports will provide the police measurements, comments and conclusions about the accident and its causes. To obtain a copy of these reports, you need to pay the police force that prepared it. They can be pricey.
* An accident reconstructions expert we hire can prepare an accident reconstruction. These reports often include computerized recreations and mathematical calculations of issues such as speed, visibility, vehicle motion and other factors that permit the expert to explain how an accident happened. While expensive, these reports can be the determining factor in some cases.
If there is a dispute over who caused the accident, some clients believe that it is impossible to settle a case. However, if both parties are flexible, a dispute over liability is not necessarily a barrier to a negotiated resolution to your case. In most cases, settlement will require the client to take a discount to account for the risk of losing on liability. The amount of the discount will usually be proportionate to the risk of losing.
Cases where liability is in question are certainly more challenging than many other cases. However, if the injuries are serious, an accident victim may not have a choice but to look for compensation.
If you have been injured in Ontario and are interested in getting fair compensation from your insurance company, a top personal injury lawyer can help. For more information, contact the Ottawa accident lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.