Who Do You Sue After a Car Accident

Dec 5 2022 | ZAYOUNA ADMIN
Sue After a Car Accident in Burlington - Zayouna Law Firm


Car accidents can change your life in an instant. If you, or someone you know, has recently been in a car accident, it is important to understand what to do after an accident

Unfortunately, getting compensated for damages and losses following an accident is not so simple. Your car insurance policy will hopefully cover the damage to your vehicle, but what if you have been seriously injured?

There are some options for getting compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and more. The process starts with your insurance company, but that might not be enough or you could be denied altogether. 

Here, we’ll go over your options for seeking compensation through a car accident claim and a car accident lawsuit. If you want advice or help with filing these claims, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer in Burlington at Zayouna Law Firm.

Car Accident Claim vs Car Accident Lawsuit

Understanding the difference between car accident claims and lawsuits is the first step to getting compensation for your losses. 

A car accident claim is submitted through your insurance company to get benefits to cover expenses associated with any injuries or fatalities caused by a car accident. This is similar to the process of submitting a claim for covering the cost of your vehicle repairs.

A car accident lawsuit is a tort claim filed against the at-fault driver, the owner of the vehicle, the car manufacturer, or any other party that you believe was negligent in their duty of care. 

What are Car Accident Benefits?

Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage is provided by law under every auto insurance policy in Ontario. These benefits differ from coverage for vehicle damage in that they are paid out irrespective of who was at fault for the accident. 

After an accident, insurance companies will investigate the details to assign fault to each party involved. If you are deemed, say 40% at fault, your insurance will only cover 40% of the damages to your vehicle. If you are injured, though, to help pay for associated expenses, Ontario has included these car accident benefits. You file a claim for these benefits through your insurance company and they include things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Attendant care if you require an aide or attendant
  • Replacement of income lost from not being able to work
  • Compensation for caregivers if you can no longer act as the main caregiver for a family member
  • Non-earner benefits provide compensation if you are completely unable to carry out a normal life
  • Funeral costs
  • Death benefits
  • Other compensations such as housekeeping, lost educational expenses, maintenance costs, etc.

If your accident has caused disability, you might also be able to claim benefits from your long-term disability insurance. If you have long-term disability insurance, your policy usually covers 60-85% of your income if you are no longer able to work.

Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny or undervalue these claims. If your claim is denied, you can collect documentation and evidence to support your claim and refile it. Whether re-filing a claim or preparing your initial claim, it is recommended to work with a car accident lawyer to help you with the process and improve your chances of getting the full compensation you are eligible for.

When to File a Car Accident Lawsuit

If you have been injured in a car accident in Burlington, you may be able to file a tort claim against a negligent party involved in the accident. This is most commonly against the at-fault driver, but could also be another negligent party such as the car manufacturer or owner of the vehicle. 

Drivers have a duty of care on the road. It is expected that you are paying attention, not driving recklessly, and not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Failing to carry out this duty of care can be considered a negligent act and can be taken to court–though tort claims are usually settled without proceeding to trial.

When filing a tort claim it is important to understand the extent of your losses and to be able to prove several elements:

  • That the defendant owed you a duty of care
  • That the defendant failed to meet that duty of care
  • That your losses were caused by the defendant’s omission or commission
  • That the defendant would have reasonably been able to foresee that their actions could cause harm

Through a car accident lawsuit, you can seek out compensation for losses that go beyond what is covered through insurance benefits. This includes compensation for things like:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Future treatments
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and trauma
  • Loss of opportunity
  • Loss of working capacity
  • Loss of income

The process of filing a tort claim is a lot easier with legal assistance. Working with a lawyer experienced in car accident tort claims is essential for understanding your rights, proceeding with the claim correctly, and getting the compensation you are entitled to.