Car Accidents in Ontario are ‘No Fault' - but
Require Fast Action
We love our cars, and driving them. But the sad fact
is, sooner or later many of us will be in car accidents. From fender benders to
more serious crashes, it is important to understand your rights in this
province and take appropriate action to ensure you get a fair car
Ontario is a "no fault” jurisdiction. That means
your own insurance company is automatically on the hook for the various
benefits to which you're entitled as a result of that accident – no matter who
caused it. That doesn't mean you're home free financially. If you are found to
be at fault, either completely or partially, you will pay a penalty later in
The no-fault system removed a lot of litigation from
the resolution of accidents when it was introduced in 1990. From car-on-car
crashes, to pedestrian accidents or ones involving bicycles, a lawyer can
ensure you get the maximum no-fault benefits from your own insurance company,
and advise you on proceeding with a tort claim if a negligent driver injured
After the Accident –Steps You Should Take
The obvious first step is to seek medical attention. Any injuries
– no matter how
mild – should be documented and treated professionally.
Ensure that an accident report is submitted to the
police, within 24 hours if possible.
Get in touch with your insurance provider within a
week of the accident.
Contact a lawyer. There are timelines that must be
followed, should you wish to take further action against the other party in the
accident. In addition, a lawyer can advise you as to all the steps you should
follow to maximize your own benefits claim with your insurer.
There are limitation periods for making those
claims. In Ontario, most car accidents have a basic two-year limitation
beginning the day the claim is discovered. There are exceptions to this rule.
The presumption that the clock begins running at the time of the accident can
be overcome depending on the facts of the case and the time of discovery of the
A lawyer experienced in personal injury law can
ensure you do not miss any limitation periods.
What Benefits Can You Expect?
Ontario's no-fault legislation means that benefits
are available to any injured person, no matter who is at fault for a crash.
(Note: some benefits are not available
if you were in contravention of the law at the time of the collision.)
The various benefits available include:
replacement of up to $400 per week
Attendant Care Benefit of up to $3000 per month
and Rehabilitation Benefits of up to $50,000 over 10 years following the
Clothing Expenses and Lost Educational Expenses
are also available for funerals and a modest death benefit.
the injuries sustained fall within the definition of "catastrophic impairment,”
the available benefits increase dramatically.
bottom line is to get legal help
quickly, in order to move
your claim as fast as possible through the system, and to achieve the maximum
coverage to which you are entitled.