Auto Accident Fault Determination Rules in Canada [Lawyers’ Opinion]

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Auto Accident Fault Determination Rules in Canada

Determining who is at fault, is the most critical part of an auto accident unless or until the drivers themselves admit their guilt. Usually, the insurance company determines the fault of an auto accident but sometimes, it is pretty obvious to know that who is at fault side. However, the Canadian government has guidelines as fault determination rules in Canada.

In most cases, determining the fault of an auto accident is not that simple because the incident was not clear. The drivers and victims also deny their guilt. So the case can be so complicated. In that situation, there are some rules and regulations by which it can be determinate.

In this article, we are going to explain the auto accident determination rules in Canada briefly. So keep reading to learn more!

What is the Fault Determination of a Car Accident?

Generally, when an accident happens, there is a two-party. One is on the guilt side, and another is the victim. Sometimes, both parties have some faults in that incident. But after an accident, there are some issues like car damages, the victim’s suffering, lost time and wages are concerned.

For these issues, the party who was responsible for that accident needs to compensate the other party. That is why fault determination is necessary. Not only these, to claim for a car accident settlement, you also need to prove to the insurance company that you had no faults in that accident.

Read Also: Is it Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

Fault Determination Rules for Car Accident in Canada

In order to identify who is at fault, different countries have different rules and laws. But some common factors help to determine the fault. As well as Alberta has some rules of fault determination. Sometimes the accident can be one-sided where it occurs because of the driver’s negligence.

There are also some cases when both parties or drivers have faults for the accident. In that case, both parties try to point their finger at the other party. Then it becomes so complex to identify the real guilt. Generally, fault determination depends on several factors. Those factors are:

  • Negligence of drivers or both drivers
  • Willful misconduct or intentional violation
  • Recklessness in driving
  • Violating the car safely rules
  • Violating the traffic rules and so on

Fault Determination Rules for Insurance Companies

For the car accident you were already in, you can also file an insurance claim. Every insurance provider will identify a person who is responsible. You might have been in a single-vehicle accident.

The insurance provider will find you to be at fault in such a case. Your record of at-fault accident insurance may still reflect this.

The guidelines are not always pretty obvious in more complicated cases. The insurance provider will take a variety of things into consideration. The police report is always taken into consideration by the insurance provider. Therefore, it would be better if you reported the collision to the police as soon as possible.

However, there are certain similarities among Alberta’s auto insurance laws. This can contain the three mottos listed below:

  • It’s possible that you back left another vehicle. This led to the accident and some kind of harm. You will always be at fault in this situation.
  • When making a turn, you might have hit another car. You are responsible for the collision if the car was travelling in its own lane. No other claim will be taken into consideration by the insurance company.
  • Any person who disobeys a traffic law is automatically considered guilty. This scenario will be taken care of by the insurance provider. Therefore, you must prove that the other car ran a stop sign or a red light.

The Way of Determining The Fault in an Auto Accident

A lot of things need to be considered while determining the auto accident faults. In most cases, it is not a simple determination. According to the Alberta rules and laws, every party needs to provide necessary information regarding the incident scene. Then on the basis of the reports of police and their information, it is determined.

Sometimes, when you claim for settlement to the insurance company, the insurance company will also try to determine the fault of the accident. If it proves that you had no fault and you are the victim, then you will cover all the costs and expenses of your damages and injuries.

Read Also: Pedestrian Crossing Rules in Canada

There are also some cases where the fault is not clear. In that case, if there were any witnesses of that incident, then they help to explain the real scene. And thus the fault is determined. Other than these, in Alberta, there are also few things to determine the fault. They are in the following:

Police Reports

The primary basic thing to consider for accident fault determination is through police reports. When an accident occurs, a police officer will come to that incident to report the accident. That report includes very relevant information like the driver’s identity, the accident situation, witnesses, and so on.

So an accident fault determination rules apply when the court can know the actual situation. That is why the driver’s information, present witnesses are very important.

Traffic Law

Most of the accidents happen because of violations the traffic laws. In order to determine who is at fault, local traffic laws help a lot in this regard. An accident happens when people violate the traffic rules like stay within the speed limit, traffic signs, traffic instructions, etc.

When an accident occurs, then all this relevant information is needed to determine the fault. For example, if a driver was on over speed, then that driver is most likely the cause of that accident.

Rear-end Accident

A rear-end accident means when a car gets hit by another car from behind. When rear-end collisions occur, the fault will go to the read driver. According to the Alberta traffic law, a car should maintain a minimum distance from another car. Because if any cases the front car brakes, in that time the rear car gets some time to stop their car.

If the rear car does not maintain the minimum distance from the front car and then if any read-end accident happens the rear car’s driver is at fault. And it will fall under the Canadian collision regulations.

Accidents in the Time of Turning

When a driver turns left or right without seeing the other car, and an accident happens, the driver who makes the turn is guilty. Before turning, he or she needs to make sure that oncoming traffic is clear. If it is only because of his or her unconsciousness or negligence, then that driver will also be at fault.

Read Also: How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Canada?

Sometimes, the cases can also be a bit different. Both drivers can be at fault side when a driver is trying to make a turn with car lights and all. But the other driver does not notice that and keeps driving, and then an accident happens. The fault will be partially or fully to that driver.

Admitting the Guilt

Sometimes, the drivers themselves acknowledge their fault. In that case, there is no need for relevant information or anything. The insurance company may assign blame to that party, but the other party just has to make an apology statement.

If any driver acknowledges their fault, nonetheless, they have to compensate for the damages. It will also fall under that act of Canadian collision regulations.

Alberta Fault Determination Rules

Determining who is at fault for an accident can be difficult. Each nation has its own set of guidelines for determining fault. The same rules govern Canada. And Alberta uses these guidelines to identify the party responsibly.

To evaluate accident fault, up to 4 different variables may be considered. Here is a quick explanation of them.

  1. Drivers’ carelessness
  2. Intentional violation
  3. Unsafe driving
  4. Violations of safety precautions and traffic laws

Ontario Fault Determination Rules

The Ontario Fault Determination Rules (often known as the Fault Rules or FDR) are a rule implemented by the Ontario Parliament under the Ontario Insurance Act to determine driver responsibility following car accidents in Ontario. The Fault Rules specify which driver was at fault in an accident. Accidents are either 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of the driver’s fault. If the driver is from Ontario, the portion not at fault is covered by the province’s mandatory Direct Compensation insurance, while the optional Collision insurance covers the amount at fault.

Car Accident Scenarios: Who is at Fault?

In a car accident, the scenario can be several. It can be rear-ended collision or turning left collision or head-to-head collision. No matter what is the accident, if any of these happen, it will be fall under the laws and regulations of Canadian collision regulations.

There can be various kinds of reasons for the accident. But if it is related to the car collision, then the fault will go to both drivers or one driver. Just for an example; when a rear-end collision occurs, it is usually for the rear-driver.

Because the rear driver is responsible for these kinds of accidents, in that case, the rear driver will be at fault. You can follow fault determination rules in Canada to determine to faulty person, if necessary.

Related Article:

Non-Pecuniary Damages vs. Pecuniary Damages

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is fault determined in a car accident Alberta?

A car accident is time-consuming and a hassle to be determined in court. For that, the lawyer of the victim must provide enough evidence and witnesses. That includes medical treatment records, appointments with doctors, police reports, etc. The victim must try to collect important information from the accident scene as detail as possible for the future. However, road cams will also help as evidence.

What is the first thing you should do if you are involved in a collision?

The first thing you must do is to stop your vehicle immediately. Park it in a safe place to avoid any further collision from traffics on that route. Then call the police. Check if there is anyone injured or not, also the condition of the victim. Remember, it will go against you if you don’t stop at the accident scene.

How long after an accident can you make a claim?

Normally, you can claim within 30 to 90 days after an accident. The duration varies according to the different locations. For Alberta, it’s 90 days, and for British Colombia, you will have 30 days to submit a claim.

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