October 11 2018

Sources of Compensation available following a Motor Vehicle Accident

Property Damage

After the initial treatment of any injuries sustained, the first concern most people have following a collision is dealing with the damage done to their vehicle. This will involve obtaining funding for any necessary repairs or, if the vehicle is written off, receiving a lump sum payout for the value of the vehicle.

If you have collision coverage on your vehicle, your insurer will be able to assist you. If you are at fault for the accident, they will pay for your property damage, less your deductible. If another party is at fault, and that party has insurance, your insurer will usually pay for the damage to your vehicle less your deductible (although your insurer will likely waive the deductible if liability for the accident is not in dispute) and recover that amount from the at fault driver’s insurer. Continue reading

October 1 2018

What to Do if You are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision

A minor motor vehicle collision can be a traumatic event. The following are some helpful hints about what to do if you are involved in a collision:

Information You Will Need

At the collision scene obtain all information related to the collision from the other party or parties involved in the collision including:

  • Name, address and phone number of all drivers (ask to see their driver’s licences);
  • Name, address and phone number of the owners of the vehicle(s) if different from the drivers;
  • The licence plate number and vehicle identification number of each of the vehicles, along with their make, model and colour;
  • The name of the insurance companies and policy numbers for each of the other vehicles involved.
Continue reading
September 27 2018

Damages for Homemakers and Stay-At-Home Parents: What Can You Claim For?

When you are injured in an accident, you can claim for different categories of losses. These categories are called heads of damage. One of these heads of damage is called general damages (also known as non-pecuniary damages). General damages compensate you for intangible losses like pain and suffering. You may also be able to claim special damages (sometimes called pecuniary damages), which are intended to compensate you for actual monetary losses that you incurred due to your injuries. Examples of special damages include economic losses (like loss of earnings or wages) and medical expenses (e.g., physiotherapy bills from the time of the accident until the time of the trial). Continue reading

September 4 2018

Structured Settlements: Are They Right for You?

Most of the time, when a plaintiff is injured and awarded damages by the courts, a lump sum payment will be ordered. Essentially, what this means is that the court will total all of the damage amounts from the various heads of damage that were awarded, such as general damages or cost of future care, and the total amount of money is ordered to be paid to the plaintiff all at once. However, on occasion the courts will order a structured settlement. A structured settlement is a settlement agreed to between the parties where the plaintiff receives the amount of their damages on a periodic, scheduled basis. Continue reading

August 31 2018

Four Steps to Coping with Emotional Trauma after a Car Accident

No one thinks twice about treating physical injuries that result from a car accident. First responders arrive at the accident scene immediately to assess and address any physical damage. If you have whiplash, you’ll likely visit a doctor or chiropractor multiple times until your pain becomes manageable. If you experience long-term health effects, you’ll continue to visit a physical therapist to learn coping strategies for returning to normal life.

However, unlike physical injuries, emotional injuries can be easy to ignore. We often tell ourselves we just need to “get over” the anxiety and PTSD that often follow a car accident, even though we would never tell ourselves to “get over” a broken leg or a brain injury. Continue reading

August 7 2018

The Real Costs of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving, as a contributing cause of serious accidents, is not new but the causes of distraction have increased as our society adopts new and more pervasive technology.

The RCMP considers distracted driving a form of impaired driving, because “a driver’s judgement is compromised when they are not fully focused on the road.” In Alberta alone, 97% of distracted driving convictions were for using a hand-held electronic device while driving.  In an effort to reduce distracted driving incidents, as of January 1, 2016, penalties for distracted driving in Alberta began to include three demerit points in addition to a $287 fine. Continue reading