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Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer

We thought we’d do an article answering some questions that we get asked most often as a personal injury lawyers.

What if someone hits my vehicle and there is no damage (or very little damage) to my vehicle, but there is damage to their vehicle. They don’t want to file a police report. Should I agree?

In certain circumstances, such as when you are sure there is no damage to your vehicle and you are sure you have no injuries, then it may be unnecessary to file a police report. There is also a risk to you if you do not file a police report and you later develop injuries/symptoms which are related to the accident. In
cases where damage has been caused to your vehicle requiring repairs, it may be useful to file a police report to document the accident and preserve your future interests.

Example 1: Someone rear ends you and your trailer hitch goes through their front grill. There is no risk to you because you have no property damage or injuries, so you don’t need a police report. The other person then would have to pay for their property damage on their own. This may be a benefit to them if they don’t want to have their car insurance premiums go up. This actually happened to a family

Example 2: Someone rears ends you and offers to get your rear bumper painted. There is some risk to you if the person doesn’t pay. This situation happened to me a few years ago. The person let their foot off the brake and gently rear ended me. Their license plate imprinted in my back bumper. I agreed to let them paint it and they did. We didn’t file a police report. There were no injuries. I was pretty annoyed at the time because the person was talking on their phone.

What if the person who caused the accident wasn’t charged with anything? Can I still bring a lawsuit if I am injured?

Injury lawsuits are based on a civil standard of liability. This means, more likely than not, who caused the accident? So it doesn’t matter if the other person was actually charged or convicted or not.

What if the person who caused the accident was impaired by alcohol or other substances?

If you are charged and convicted of a criminal offence in relation to causing the car accident, your car insurance company could decide to only cover you to $200,000, which is the statutory minimum, instead of covering you for the $1 million (or more) that you would normally have on your policy.

If you are the victim in this scenario and you have your own insurance, you can sue your own insurance under something called Family Protection Coverage and get the coverage topped up to $1 million (or more) depending on what you have for your own policy of insurance. I carry $2 million of insurance just in case I am ever in a catastrophic accident. I want there to be plenty of insurance money to pay
for damages.

If the car accident was my fault, or it’s a single vehicle collision, can I still open a file for Statutory Accident Benefits?

Yes – Statutory Accident Benefits are attached to your own vehicle. If you are in an accident you use these benefits to recover, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

If I open a file for Statutory Accident Benefits, will it affect my car insurance premiums?

Car insurance premiums are based on a number of different factors. The insurance company can do a search to see if you have been in an accident, so they can find out this information even if you don’t tell them. If you are “at fault” for an accident and don’t have accident forgiveness as part of your
insurance policy, then the insurance company can use an at-fault accident to increase your
premiums. If you were not “at fault” for an accident, opening a file for Statutory Accident
Benefits should not increase your insurance premiums.

If I am injured in a car accident, why do I have to use my benefits or spouse’s benefits BEFORE my car insurance pays? This seems so unfair.

Insurance companies have gotten together and made car insurance the payor of last resort. So, if you have Greenshield or Sunlife etc. (any type of extended health care benefits) you have to use those first. Then you can use your car insurance benefits, which are called Statutory Accident Benefits.

Do I have to use the service provider that my insurance company sends me to?

Service providers are people like physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors,
occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, etc. Your insurance company
may suggest someone to you that they prefer, but you have the freedom to choose whomever you want to work with.

There are so many more questions we get asked regularly. I think we may need to continue this another month! If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please let us know. We love to educate others!

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We wish we could give clients their old lives back. Fortunately, we can do the next best thing: give them back the sense of security they had before their accident and help them rebuild their lives. This involves obtaining a fair monetary settlement and secure rehabilitation for an alternative future path in a reasonable amount of time.
Call Velocity Injury Law at 519-946-4300
Our goal is to get back to you about scheduling a free consultation on the same day.

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