Understanding Your Rights as a Personal Injury Victim in Ontario

Nov 15 2023 By ZAYOUNA ADMIN

Understanding Your Rights as a Personal Injury Victim - Zayouna Law Firm


Every year in Ontario, thousands of people experience injuries caused by the actions or negligence of another party. In many of these cases, the victim has a right to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. All too often, though, victims forgo taking action against the at-fault party because they don’t want to take on the burden of proving liability or negotiating with insurance companies. 

That is why hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential to the process. You don’t have to add financial insult to your injuries. Your Ontario personal injury lawyer will help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and defendants, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. 

Understanding your rights as a personal injury victim in Ontario is the first step toward becoming financially whole after an injury. We will cover the essential information that you should know about your rights as a personal injury victim in Ontario. 

Your Right to Pursue a Personal Injury Claim in Ontario

If you have been injured in an accident, you have a few avenues to pursue financial compensation. If another person, company, or organization was at fault for your accident, then you can seek payment for your suffering by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. 

Many types of accidents can warrant a personal injury claim, such as:

Proving Liability and Negligence

For a personal injury claim to be successful, Ontario law requires that the victim (or plaintiff) prove that the accident was caused by the negligent actions of the defendant and that the injuries resulted from that accident. 

Some examples of the evidence that can be used include:

  • Camera footage of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Police statements
  • Incident reports
  • Photos of the accident scene and associated damages
  • Expert testimony
  • Medical records 

A personal injury lawyer will help you collect evidence for your claim, but the process is aided immensely if you take some steps at the scene of the accident, or soon after. Actions like taking photos of the accident scene, ensuring a police report or incident report is filed, and talking to witnesses can all be incredibly useful when compiling evidence for your case.

Accident Benefits

Another avenue for victims to seek financial compensation after an accident is through Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits. In Ontario, all insurance policies are required to include accident benefits to help injured persons cover the cost of their injuries. These benefits are available to anyone injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, and help to pay for medical costs not covered by OHIP.

After an accident, you should aim to file an insurance claim within seven days, but ideally within 24 hours. The sooner you file your claim, the more likely it is to be accepted, and the sooner you can receive your accident benefits.

What Damages Can You Seek Compensation For?

When filing a personal injury claim, you will have to provide evidence for damages incurred from the accident. These damages go beyond the physical injuries sustained in the accident, and might include:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income or earning capacity
  • Psychological trauma
  • Property damage
  • Care services
  • Loss of quality of life

After an accident, keep a detailed record of all expenses related to your injuries or property damage. Your lawyer will use these records to establish current medical expenses and to help calculate future costs. The amount of compensation you can receive is unique to every case but it is subject to some limitations. 

Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Ontario

Limitation Periods

The Ontario Limitations Act outlines the time within which a personal injury claim must be filed. In most cases, this limitation period is two years from the date of the accident, though there are some exceptions. 

In addition to the limitation periods outlined in this statute, your claim might also be subject to some other time restraints. One common limit is the notice period for claims against a municipality. If your accident was caused by the negligence of a municipal body, you must notify the municipality about the accident within 10 days of the accident.

These time restraints are another reason why hiring a personal injury lawyer is so important. A lawyer will help to notify you of the relevant time limits for your case and ensure that all deadlines are met. 

Other Limitations

In addition to limitation periods, there are a couple of other notable limitations to be aware of for Ontario personal injury claims.

One such limitation is the limit on which damages can be recovered, and how much can be recovered. The plaintiff must prove that the damages were caused by the accident and must prove the amount of the damages. 

As well, the Supreme Court of Canada has placed a cap on non-pecuniary damages. Non-pecuniary damages are losses that are not easily quantifiable, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. In Canada, the cap for non-pecuniary damages was set at $100,000 when it passed in 1978. After adjusting for inflation, that cap is now approaching $500,000.