FAQ – 5 Critical Steps to Take after Being Injured in a Car Accident in Ontario
A motor vehicle accident in Ontario can result in numerous unanticipated financial consequences. Compensation may be available through Ontario’s statutory Accident Benefits and possibly a civil tort initiated against a negligent driver.
Understanding the recommended plan of action after a car accident may protect your right to compensation. Below are five steps to take after a serious motor vehicle accident and injury in Ontario.
Collect and Preserve Evidence
Your claim and/or lawsuit will depend on evidence that may include:
- medical records ;
- income records ;
- accident reports; and
- witness testimony.
A lawyer from the Goodman Law Group can handle this aspect of your claim. Our legal team maintains relationships with medical and vocational experts, as well as accident reconstructionists whose testimony lends credibility to the evidence we gather to support your claim. Learn more during a free case consultation. Call (905) 265-1005.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety are the first priorities after an accident. Some latent injuries, such as concussion or whiplash, may take several days to manifest. A thorough medical examination is recommended even if you believe your injuries are relatively minor.
Seeking medical attention also helps strengthen your claim for benefits. It does so by creating a record of your injuries and expenses, while also demonstrating your commitment to preserving your physical wellbeing.
Report the Accident
Police should be called to the scene of any motor vehicle accident involving personal injury or property damage exceeding $1,000. Non-injury accidents or those resulting in less than $1,000 in damage should be reported to the authorities at a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours.
Hire an Accident Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer assists you with pursuing justice and compensation. It is recommended to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible after an accident. This way, you have a professional on hand to guide you through every step of the process.
You may use a free case consultation as an opportunity to determine which lawyer is the best fit for your case.
Questions to ask a potential lawyer may include:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law ?
- How many cases have you handled that are similar to my own ?
- Can you explain your fee structure ?
- Do you anticipate any potential issues with my claim? and
- What is your firm’s method of communicating with clients ?
Bear in mind that many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay a lawyer unless he or she successfully settles or wins your case.
Submit Application and File Notice and the Lawsuit on time
You must notify your insurance provider of your accident within seven days. You should indicate that you will be applying for Accident Benefits and request an Application for Accident Benefits (OCF-1 Form). This application must be completed and submitted within 30 days of receipt.
You have just 120 days in which to notify another driver if you intend to file a personal injury tort against him or her. Thereafter, you have two years from the date of the accident to commence a formal lawsuit for your pain and suffering, lost income and any other accident related losses.
A failure to meet these deadlines may bar you from full financial recovery. Your lawyer can ensure you meet all deadlines, but only if you contact him or her quickly after an accident.