Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be both physically and mentally taxing. The added financial burden can further strain the road to recovery. The last thing you want to worry about is car insurance after the accident.
Many people are unsure of how to navigate a motor vehicle-related claim, what to expect based on their situation and if a personal injury claim affects car insurance.
As such, this is what you should know about how your personal injury case may impact your car insurance.
It is important to know that every claim is different, and that the steps you take are dependent on the circumstances around the motor-vehicle accident.
Generally speaking, insurance premiums will almost always increase for the at-fault party.
Motor vehicle accidents typically have two components: a tort component and an accident benefits component.
The accident benefits regime is no-fault coverage. Regardless of who was at-fault, you can access accident benefits through your own insurance provider. However, if you are at-fault and bring a claim to your own insurance provider for accident benefits, you will likely see a premium increase and will probably have to pay a deductible. If you are at-fault and the other driver involved in the accident sues you, this will also likely increase your insurance premium.
If you are not at-fault and decide to commence an accident benefits claim, you will likely not see a premium increase.
Of course, every case is unique; while this is a good rule of thumb, there are exceptions depending on the circumstance of the motor vehicle accident. Also, your insurance premiums may increase due to other factors the following year that are unrelated to the accident.
In a nutshell: if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are wondering whether or not your insurance premiums will increase, you will first need to first establish whether or not you were at-fault for the accident.
Whether you pursue an Accident Benefits claim or a tort claim, the fault determination rules vary.
In the Accident Benefits regime, fault is established through a system called the Fault Determination Rules.
In a tort claim, determining fault is a fact-based exercise.
The answer is yes!
In Ontario, even if you are found 100% at-fault in the motor vehicle accident, Accident Benefits are still available to you.
Accident Benefits coverage applies regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. You can have access to medical and rehabilitation treatment, income replacement benefits, attendant care benefits, and other forms of benefits under this regime.
If you are severely injured following an accident and are unable to return to work or navigate your everyday life, it is very important to consider pursuing an accident benefits claim. If your injuries are significant enough, it would most likely cost more to pay for medical rehabilitation out of pocket than a premium increase.
For this reason, we typically recommend pursuing accident benefits even if you are at-fault because the pros outweigh the cons.
In some cases, you may have access to something called “accident forgiveness.” Ask your insurance company: If you qualify for this feature, you could get reprieve on accident-related premium increases.
If you are 100% at-fault for the accident, you may not have a viable tort claim.
You can only commence a personal injury claim under the tort regime if you are not 100% at-fault for the accident.
However, you may still commence a tort claim if you are partly at-fault, in which case you would be apportioned a percentage of fault. If this occurs, your insurance premiums may increase.
While a motor vehicle accident can occur in a multitude of ways, it is important to know when a driver may be found at-fault. Insurance premium spikes are tied to the driver found at-fault.
Common situations where you will likely be found at-fault are:
You rear-end a car
You are involved in a single car accident
You make an improper lane change; and
The accident occurs while you are driving in a distracted state.
At Gosai Law, we understand that every case is different. If you believe you have been unfairly denied treatment or a benefit from your insurance company, we can help you.
If you have questions about your case or wish to get a better sense of the options available to you, call our office at 905-595-2225 or email us at email@example.com.