As one of the top personal injury legal teams in Whitby we are regularly asked by our clients if they can still have a claim if an accident is their fault. Our frustrating answer is—possibly. The first thing we look at when deciding if there is merit to a personal injury claim is understanding how insurance company and the courts decide who is ‘at fault’.
How is Fault Assessed in a Personal Injury Claim
Under Canada’s Insurance Act insurance companies and courts are required to follow the Fault Determination Rules set out in the Insurance Act. When insurance companies assign fault there is often fault assigned to both parties. Should one party be found to be at 25% fault or more they will see an adjustment in their premiums, but a partial—or full—at-fault ruling does not necessarily negate your entitlement to a personal injury claim.
The Fault Determination rules will apply the following to your case:
Fault determination rules are based on over 40 accident scenarios, which include detailed diagrams and instructions for interpretation.
Rules will be applied regardless of weather or road conditions or matters of visibility, impact, additional vehicles or pedestrians.
Fault is allocated to each driver based on which accident scenario most closely resembles the accident. If the accident is not described by any of the scenarios, then fault is allocated according to the ordinary rules of negligence law.
There may be merit to a personal injury claim even if you are found to be partially at-fault. So, yes, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim and property damage award(s), even if you are found to be at-fault for the accident.
How to Proceed with a Personal Injury Claim when you are At-Fault
Canada’s Insurance Act and its Fault Determination Rules not only help drivers and accident victims mediate claims with insurance companies, they also set out a framework of how to proceed. Under the act you have the right to a speedy claims process—as do insurance companies. This means that there are specific cut-off points and documentation you must file before in order to be eligible for a claim. Once your claim is made the insurance company is bound to send you the proper paperwork and to then follow up on that paperwork submission promptly.
To help you sort through that process contact us, the personal injury and accident experts at Conte & Associates. We will help you file your claim within the necessary timeframes in order to ensure you receive your benefits —and build your case despite a partially at-fault determination from your insurance company.