One of the most common causes of death in Canada is motor vehicle accidents. Statistics show there are around 300,000 motor vehicle accidents annually in Canada. Moreover, the fatality rate is 5.2 percent per 100 000 people.
Unfortunately, not every victim could claim compensation or a settlement amount for the damages and injuries they acquire from the accidents. Thus, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act Alberta has become a crucial law.
In this article, we will discuss in-depth everything you need to know regarding motor vehicle accident claims in Alberta.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act Alberta
In 1947, via the aforementioned Act, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program was established to protect the interest of victims.
The purpose of the program was to protect the victims by ensuring they receive the correct settlement amount and any other compensation for the injuries and damages they acquired.
According to the law of Alberta, if you own a vehicle, you must get liability insurance. However, if you failed to do so, then you will not be able to pay for fatalities or personal injuries incurred in an accident. This is a consequence you must undergo for not having liability insurance.
It is best to contact a lawyer, specifically a motor vehicle accident lawyer, in such circumstances. They will ensure you avoid all legal pitfalls and build a solid case to prove you are the victim here.
You and your lawyer need to collect all the required pieces of evidence, medical records, and other related information or documents. You can then go ahead and file a claim through the motor vehicle claims act, Alberta.
When am I Eligible to Make a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim in Alberta?
It is vital to remember that you cannot file a claim against all motor vehicle accidents in Alberta. The accident must be the other driver’s fault or must have occurred due to the other parties some act of negligence. As well, the injuries you acquired should be from the accident.
You must have enough shreds of evidence to prove your claim, and you can collect that with the help of a legal expert. Furthermore, if the defendant ran from the crime scene, you must be able to identify him in some way before making a claim.
According to the law in Alberta, you need to file a motor vehicle accident claim within 90 days of the accident.
Requirements of Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Alberta
In order to submit a claim, you must:
- check all insurance options, even if they are only partial coverage
- To pay for temporary medical costs, contact your insurance provider
- File a case against the individual or people responsible for the accident and your injuries; you should get legal advice to assist you with this procedure.
- serve the defendants with a notice of your case.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Alberta?
Most cases – approximately 98% – of the motor vehicle accident claims settle within a few weeks or months before the court. However, if the plaintiff and the defendant fail to agree upon a settlement amount before the trial, the settlement process might take three to four years before another trial date is fixed in court.
Therefore, it is always suggested that you settle on an amount before going to court. As there is a chance a new trial date will not be fixed for years, or you might end up losing your right to claim for an amount of settlement.
How Much Settlement Amount will I Receive from Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Alberta?
When you make a claim, the maximum amount of money you will receive as settlement for all your injuries and damages is $200,000. This is for one accident and for all the victims involved.
Moreover, sometimes one accident might have multiple claimants, and the amount for damages might be more than $200,000. In such a situation, all the claimants will receive part of the share of the settlement amount.
Common Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents occur frequently enough that we were able to research and gather information to find out a list of the most common injuries victims sustain from motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, they need to make auto accident claims.
- Cuts and Burns
- Neck Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Hip Fractures
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Skull Fractures
- Broken Ribs
- Broken Pelvis
- Fractured or Broken Wrists
- Fibula and Tibia Fractures in the Legs
- Lost Limbs/Amputation
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Common Causes for Motor Vehicle Accidents
We have also learned the most common causes that lead to motor vehicle accidents and shared the list below so that you can take proper precautions.
- Intoxicated Drivers
- Inexperienced Drivers
- Distracted Drivers
- Sleepy Drivers
- Reckless Driving
- Poor Road Infrastructure
- Aggressive Driving
- Poor Weather
- Night Driving
- Poor Eyesight
- Vehicle Defects
What Should You and Should Not Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
It is expected that everyone will not be aware of what they should do after an accident. However, most of the time, people are in shock or in panic; thus, making a wrong decision is standard.
That is why we have made a list of things you should and should not do after a motor vehicle accident.
- Call 911 immediately
- If there are any injuries or damages, make sure you inform the police
- Do not forget or hesitate to share your contact and insurance information
You Should Not:
- If you are fatally injured, try not to move too much as the wound might get worse
- If someone else is injured, do not move them if it is not absolutely necessary
- Do not run or leave the scene of the accident under any circumstances as you will become a prime suspect, then
- If you are a witness, do not stand too close to the damaged vehicle
Can I Sue for the Emotional Trauma from a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Yes, in Canada, you can actually sue for the emotional distress or trauma you might be suffering from as a consequence of a motor vehicle accident. Your emotional distress is a result of an act of negligence from someone. Even if you were a bystander or, perhaps, are a relative of the victim, you can claim emotional distress and file a civil lawsuit.
What is the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund?
The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act in Alberta established the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (“The Fund”) to solve this problem. The Act guarantees that anybody hurt by uninsured or unidentified parties can file a lawsuit against them to get compensation. There are some significant exceptions, though. For example, the fund will not compensate you for property damage, and the maximum award you can receive in a lawsuit against the fund is $200,000.00; this includes all claims related to a single accident. The fact that drivers themselves might be able to recover treatment costs by applying to the proper authorities is significant.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Going through an accident is a traumatic experience. On top of that, being in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence can result in both emotional and physical trauma.
If you end up sustaining injuries from the accident, you will need time to recover. If you are also traumatized emotionally, then healing your emotional trauma will take time. It is crucial you can recover without the added stress of the act of claim and related legal work.
We suggest you hire a personal injury lawyer or a motor vehicle accident lawyer during such a precarious situation. A legal expert can help you take care of all the legal work. For instance, the lawyer can make a claim on your behalf. They will fight for you and the settlement amount you deserve, rightfully, for your injuries and any other damages you might have incurred.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer will ensure you are compensated and receive settlements for the following:
- Prescription Costs
- Medical Bills
- Physical Therapy
- Temporary/Permanent Disability
- The current loss of Income
- Future loss of Income
- Vehicle Damages/Replacement
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
The compensation list might vary depending on the severity of injuries and the accident.
To Wrap Up
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common types of accidents that often lead to tragic situations. A lot of families in Canada lose their loved ones in such accidents. If not death, then a lot of victims lose physical mobility.
To protect these victims from injustice, the motor vehicle accident claims act Alberta plays a crucial role. Injury Lawyer of Edmonton or motor vehicle accident lawyers in Alberta are always there to help and guide victims to gain their compensation and find justice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can someone sue for a car accident in Alberta?
For all claims arising from a single accident, the MVAC Program has a monetary maximum of $200,000 (plus legal expenses). If your injuries are serious enough that your losses exceed MVAC's payment limit, you may be entitled to further compensation from your own insurance company.
What to do if I am a victim of a hit and run in Alberta?
You may assume that if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, you are disqualified or unable to seek compensation for your injuries. When you experience an accident that is covered by the Alberta motor vehicle accident claims program, this is not the situation. Gather your proof and contact us immediately for a free consultation to see whether your case qualifies.
What does an at fault accident mean?
An at-fault accident is one in which one or more persons can be held legally accountable for the accident's cause or contribution. In certain circumstances, such as when a drunk driver causes a pileup, the grounds of carelessness are obvious. In other cases, a personal injury lawyer may be required to assist you with accident reconstruction and the preparation of a compelling case for compensation recovery.
How can a personal injury lawyer help me when it comes to Alberta motor vehicle accident claims?
For an accident victim, keeping track of all elements and documents in their case may be difficult, especially when the injuries are severe. Allow a lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your claim so you may focus on your medical treatment and maximize your chances of recovery.