If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident during your workday, you may be compensated through the Workers’ Compensation Board (“WCB”) or through a personal injury claim. It can be difficult to determine how to proceed and which process applies. This blog post will outline the different claims processes and how to determine which process applies to your situation.
In Canada, a person who injures you as a result of his or her negligence must put you back in the position you were in before you were injured. In the case of a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will step in and compensate any injured parties. But who pays if the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident or has no insurance?
An Example: Car Accident
Imagine a standard car accident claim. You are injured in an accident caused by another driver. Below, is a simplified image depicting a straightforward rear-ending collision, as an example.
Seems simple enough, right? However, there are many people involved in even the most straight-forward car accident claim. For example:
A car accident can be overwhelming on its own, particularly if someone has been injured or hurt. The various parties involved can add to this sense of confusion. Time after time we hear from people who are overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of different adjusters and other individuals involved in a claim.
Who is this “PD” adjuster? Why is this person called a “BI” adjuster calling? How are they different from the other person whose title is “AB” adjuster? Who do I talk to about getting more physio treatments approved?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole scenario can be much more confusing when both drivers involved in the collision have policies of insurance with the same insurance company, or if one party does not have insurance, or if there are injured passengers.
That is why we have drafted this blog – to help you sort through the complex web of people shown above. Below, we break down the different parties and adjusters involved in a collision and explain what each one’s role is.
Your insurance company
Let’s start off with your insurance company.
After you’ve been in an accident, you will want to report the collision to your insurance company right away, as there are time limits that can affect your ability to open a car accident claim and access coverage. Learn more about
what you need to remember to do right after a collision
At Moustarah & Company, we understand the effects that a motor vehicle collision and injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision can have on your life. That is why we are committed to providing outstanding service that is tailored to your needs, to help you during this difficult time.
As part of our commitment to providing excellent service, we have created the brochure pictured below to provide you with some information on navigating a personal injury claim, and what you should know and expect when you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, contact us for a free initial consultation.
History of the Seatbelt Defence
There may be safety risks and legal consequences associated with failing to wear a seatbelt. Historically, one of these was the so-called “seatbelt defence.”
Ordinarily, an injured person is entitled to full compensation if they can establish the defendant’s negligence caused the accident, unless the defendant successfully argues a defence. A common defence for failing to wear a seatbelt in a motor vehicle accident was the “seatbelt defence.”
Before the Contributory Negligence Act was implemented, the “seatbelt defence” was a complete defence available to the defendant. If the defendant successfully established that the plaintiff’s injuries could have been prevented by wearing a seatbelt, the plaintiff would not receive a damages award. The courts were not willing to compensate plaintiffs who were held partially responsible for their own injuries. These plaintiffs had no recourse against a negligent defendant. This was essentially an “all or nothing” approach. An injured person was either entitled to compensation or their entire claim failed.
The law has since shifted and no longer takes such a harsh stance against the injured person. Under the Contributory Negligence Act, the injured person can recover damages even if they are held partially responsible for their injuries. The “seatbelt defence” is now considered a partial defence and falls under the category of contributory negligence.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is based on the principle that everyone has a duty to take reasonable care for their own safety. If an injured person engages in unreasonable conduct, such as failing to wear a seatbelt, and thus contributes to their own injuries, they are said to be “contributorily negligent.” That is, their own “negligence”, in failing to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety, contributed to their injuries and the damages they suffered.
For example, a court could rule that a person is partly responsible for their own injuries if they suffered from injuries that could have been prevented or reduced by wearing a seatbelt, such as shoulder injuries and head injuries.
This is the scenario that occurred in
Heller v Martens, 2002 ABCA 122
Doday v. Alberta, 2011 ABQB 161
Take for example the case of
Doday v. Alberta (Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act, Administrator)