Can I recover damages if I am at fault for an accident?
Being involved in a car accident can leave crash victims shaken up, frustrated and unsure where to turn. You’re aware that significant damage was inflicted on your car, and you need medical treatment. Yet, you’re not entirely sure who will pay for it. That’s because you were either at fault or partially at fault due to a small error or moment of misjudgment. In addition, you’re likely wondering if you can recover damages at all.
The short answer to this is: it depends. Insurance companies are responsible for paying for accident-related damages, but it is much more complicated than it sounds. As a result, drivers are often disadvantaged when negotiating with insurance companies. That’s why you must speak to an experienced car accident lawyer in Toronto who can help you sort out the complexities of your case. Here’s what you need to know.
Ontario employs the contributory negligence rule
Ontario employs the contributory negligence rule, which means you can be found wholly or partially at fault for your crash. Here is an example:
You run a red light while texting and driving. Another driver (who legally has the right-of-way) broadsides you. You sustain serious injuries, including broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. At the same time, the driver who hit you could have been speeding or also distracted and failed to avoid hitting you.
It’s often tough to prove fault in intersection accidents like the one mentioned above. Your best course of action would be to discuss the details of your crash with an experienced lawyer. If the other driver contributed some degree of fault to the accident, you might be able to recover some damages. Even if you’re found entirely at fault, you’re not out of options.
Ontario is a “no-fault” province
Ontario is considered a “no-fault” province. Your insurance company pays for your crash-related damages when you receive no-fault benefits after a crash. It doesn’t matter if you were at fault for the accident. These are known as Accident Benefits.
All automobile insurance policies in Ontario include standard Accident Benefits coverage. In addition, you can purchase optional coverage and increase the limits of legal coverage.
Your Accident Benefits also cover passengers and pedestrians injured in a crash.
Accident Benefits typically cover the following damages:
- Medical care and rehabilitation
- Loss of wages or income
- Loss of educational expenses
- Visitor costs
- Attendant care
- Death benefits, such as funeral and burial costs
- Possibly housekeeping, home maintenance or caregiver benefits
Getting compensated (even from your own insurance company) is often tricky. Insurance companies have the incentive to pay you as little as possible. They will take advantage of you if you give them the opportunity. When you hire a lawyer at, we’ll deal directly with the insurance company and negotiate for a fair financial settlement