If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you probably have a lot of questions leading up to what happens next. Specifically, what will happen to insurance rates moving forward. Firstly, if you are without any serious injuries, it should give you and your loved ones some relief and make for a slightly less complicated case with your auto insurance company. What you will be dealing with is vehicle damages and repairs to both your and the other party involved.

There will usually be someone who is determined at fault in an auto accident. Insurance companies determine the degree of fault assigned to each driver based on police reports, witness statements, weather conditions, speed, degree of damage to each vehicle, and any other evidence that can be found to determine where the blame lies. So it’s not as simple as stating one party is completely at fault. It’s possible to have one driver 20% at fault while the other is 80%. However, it’s important to keep in mind that all cases vary. If you were determined to be not at fault for an auto accident, your auto insurance rates may not be negatively impacted.

The Insurance Act and the Fault Determination Rules Regulation 668 determine fault for an auto accident.

The other party involved in the accident or members of their family can sue the at-fault driver for “pecuniary damages” and “non-pecuniary damages,” which includes general damages for pain and suffering if they have sufficient evidence along with physicians’ documentation as proof of their injuries. When an at-fault driver is sued in Ontario, the insurance company is required to defend their client on his or her behalf.  Accordingly, this also means you and your lawyer will be dealing with the driver’s insurance company – not the driver. If the other driver was at fault, you may be able to sue for compensation in addition to your basic insurance coverage.

The majority of cases are settled outside court through mediation, settlement negotiation between lawyers, or arbitration. This is why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to defend and protect your interests. In Ontario, compensation for most automobile accidents that do not result in serious injury or death, is handled entirely through the individual’s insurance company and cannot involve a lawsuit.

Every case is unique. If you’ve been involved in an accident that has become too complicated to handle on your own, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact Zayouna Law Firm, to be connected with a lawyer who can answer all your questions and help guide you through the legal process. Regardless of the circumstances, it never hurts to speak and seek advice from a personal injury lawyer.