Car Accident Compensation
Every year, Transport Canada reports a high number of car accidents. The Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics from 2013 tell us there were 120,660 collisions with personal injury in Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the casualty rates divulge 567.1 injuries and 7.7 fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers. Closer examination of these statistics reveals that nearly three quarters of the car accident injuries occurred in urban locations. Injuries by road user class were : 46.2% drivers, 20.7% passengers, 14.5% pedestrians, 11.6% motorcyclists and 4.6% bicyclists.
Because of the risk of injury from colliding with a motorized vehicle is high, auto insurance is legally required in all Canadian provinces. In Newfoundland and Labrador, car insurance is governed by provincial legislation. You are required by law to obtain coverage for third-party liability and for uninsured or unidentified automobiles.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit after a Car Accident
You are entitled to claim compensation from the insurer for the at-fault driver through a personal injury civil lawsuit. You are entitled to compensation:
- If you were a passenger injured in the accident
- If you were in a rental vehicle
- Even if you share some fault for the accident
The compensation awarded is usually negotiated between your lawyer and the insurance company. Compensation is typically provided for the following as they apply:
- Past and future income loss
- Future medical and rehabilitation expenses, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses
- Special damages for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident and impairment
- General damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life
- Interest at a rate determined by government regulation
- Other expenses that may result from the accident and injury
Nearly all lawsuits are settled out of court. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, a court decision is available as an option. However, you must ensure that your legal action is filed before the limitation period expires. It is important that you contact a lawyer to ensure that your right to claim is protected.
Car Accident Benefits & Claim
In addition to claiming compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer, you may be entitled to limited benefits under the insurance policy covering the vehicle in which you were travelling, if that policy included accident benefits coverage. Unlike most other provinces, accident benefits coverage is not mandatory in Newfoundland and Labrador. If you are injured in a car accident, you will need to contact the company insuring the vehicle in which you were travelling to determine whether the policy includes accident benefits coverage. If that vehicle did not have accident benefits coverage, you may be covered by your own automobile insurance policy or that of the vehicle that caused the accident. This type of coverage is available regardless of who was at fault and does not affect insurance rates.
If accident benefits coverage is available, it includes the following benefits:
- Disability income benefits apply if you are disabled for at least 7 days.
- The maximum amount is $140 per week, payable for up to 104 weeks if you can no longer work at your own occupation.
- If you are totally disabled and can no longer work in any occupation, this benefit is payable for up to your entire lifetime.
- If you were an unpaid housekeeper at the time of the accident, you may receive $70 per week for up to 12 weeks, provided you are totally disabled from any housekeeping responsibilities.
- Medical expenses, including rehabilitation expenses, are recoverable up to $25,000 per person. This benefit is applicable for up to four years from the accident date. You must claim first benefits from your private health or medical insurance plan, if you have one.
- Death benefits are payable if your loved one dies within 180 days of the accident or within two years if he or she was continuously disabled prior to death. Payment amounts to survivors depend on the deceased person’s position in the household:
- If the deceased was the highest income earner or the spouse of the highest income earner, then $10,000 will be paid. An additional $1,000 is paid to each additional dependent survivor.
- $2,000 is paid for the death of a dependent.
- Funeral expenses, up to $1,000, are payable as applicable.
Aylward, Chislett & Whitten
This article provides only a brief outline of the legal issues that may arise from a motor vehicle accident. Every situation is unique. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, call us for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers at Aylward, Chislett & Whitten can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Let us deal with the insurance companies for you. The other party’s insurance company is under no obligation to work for you. We will fight for fair compensation for you and your loved ones. Our lawyers have considerable experience and are available to speak to you personally about your claim. Contact our car accident lawyers in Paradise today. We also serve all of Newfoundland and Labrador, including St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South (CBS) and surrounding areas.