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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 accident settlement.
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 increased premiums.
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 you.

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 injury.
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:
  • Income replacement of up to $400 per week
  • An Attendant Care Benefit of up to $3000 per month
  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits of up to $50,000 over 10 years following the accident
  • Damaged Clothing Expenses and Lost Educational Expenses
  • Benefits are also available for funerals and a modest death benefit.

      If the injuries sustained fall within the definition of "catastrophic impairment,” the available benefits increase dramatically.

The 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.
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Zarolia Barristers Professional Corporation        |        416-789-9200        |        info@zarolialaw.com        |        www.zarolialaw.com
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