What Do I Do If I’m Injured in a Serious Car Accident?
Your first priority must always be the health of your family and yourself. After a serious accident, you will naturally seek out medical attention. That said, in the immediate aftermath of a serious accident, it is also vitally important that you follow the steps outlined here and in our downloadable Personal Injury Information Kit.
This kit is a free guide which will help you understand your rights, access the help that is available to you and helps you choose the best legal counsel.
You Are Entitled to Accident Benefits If You Are Injured in a Serious Car Accident
What many people don’t understand about serious car accidents is that they may have two avenues to get access to funding for required treatment:
- a tort component (a lawsuit against the person who is at fault); and
- an accident benefit component (compensation for income loss and medical costs through Ontario’s no-fault insurance regime which are often payable by your own car insurer).
Most people injured in a serious car accident are automatically entitled to Accident Benefits and claiming these benefits will not affect your insurance rates. Accident Benefits are available whether you were driving, were a passenger in a vehicle, or were a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle. These benefits are also available even if the accident was your fault.
You May Be Entitled to Bring a Lawsuit
Another way to receive monetary compensation for injuries sustained in a serious car accident is through a lawsuit which is called a ‘tort’ claim.
This means you and your family may have the right to obtain compensation from anyone who was responsible for the collision. These claims against at-fault persons are over and above any Accident Benefits you may be entitled to receive. You can seek compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, income loss from missing work, medical and rehabilitation costs, care costs, housekeeping costs, and other expenses. Your family members may also have a claim.
Be aware of deadlines. In the majority of cases, you must issue a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident in order to maintain your right to sue. If you do not start a lawsuit within the two-year limitation period you will very likely be prevented from doing so.
Right to Obtain Compensation From At-Fault Persons
You and your family may have the right to obtain compensation from anyone potentially responsible for the accident. These claims are over and above any Accident Benefits, you may be entitled to receive. Injuries must be considered both ‘permanent’ and ‘serious’ before you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering arising out of a serious car accident. Additionally, most claims for pain and suffering are subject to a statutory deductible of $41,503.50, unless the damages award exceeds $138,343.86. It is important to note that these numbers increase every year with inflation.
Certain family members may be entitled to compensation for their loss of care, guidance and companionship of their injured family member. However, these claims are also subject to a statutory deductible of $20,751.76 if their damages do not exceed $69,171.36. These amounts also rise every year with inflation.
In a claim, family members may, among other things, recover income they have lost while caring for you, as well as other out-of-pocket expenses that have not otherwise been reimbursed.
In some cases, claims against the at-fault person will include claims for:
- Future income loss or loss of opportunity that you suffer as a result of your injuries
- Future medical and rehabilitation expenses, and
- Future attendant care services.
Thomson Rogers can help
Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with serious car accident cases. A lot of things need to happen in the wake of a serious car accident. It can be hard for a victim who is healing to also file claims, chase down police reports, talk to different insurance companies, and more.
Thomson Rogers’ lawyers have the experience necessary to represent your interests, connect you with a team of medical experts to assist you on the path to recovery, and get you the compensation you and your family deserve. For more on what you should do in the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident, download our Personal Injury Information Kit.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation by completing our online request form, or call 416-868-3100 or toll-free at 1-888-223-0448.