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Car Accidents in Ontario

Accident Benefits

Personal Injury

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AT-FAULT ACCIDENTS

Ontario's No-Fault Insurance

The term "no-fault insurance" can be a misleading term for many people. However, no-fault insurance does not mean that drivers involved in accidents are never at fault. Someone is always at fault in an accident, whether partially or fully.

In reality, what "no-fault" insurance really means is that if you are involved in a car accident, whether you are at-fault or not, your claim is sent off to your own insurance company. No-fault insurance in Ontario helps consumers get financial assistance in a timely manner becuase it eliminates the wait for an investigation by insurance companies to determine which insurance company will have to pay.

HOW DOES AN INSURANCE COMPANY DETERMINE IF YOU WERE AT-FAULT

Insurance companies must determine the degree of fault to be assigned to each driver for purposes of determining which property damage coverage apply to the accident, and to ensure that the at-fault driver’s premiums are adjusted appropriately.

The Insurance Act and the Fault Determination Rules made under the Insurance Act determine fault for a car accident. The Fault Determination Rules are regulations put in place to help insurance companies provide consumers with prompt claims handling and consistent treatment. After you report your accident to your insurer, broker, or representative, the company will investigate the circumstances of the car accident and then make a fault decision based on the Fault Determination Rules.

Fault is allocated to each driver based on which accident scenario most closely resembles the car accident. If the car accident is not described by any of the scenarios, then fault is allocated according to the ordinary rules of negligence law.

HOW DOES AN AT-FAULT ACCIDENT AFFECT ME?

A driver can be anywhere between 100% and zero per cent at fault in a car accident. Any driver who is more than zero per cent at fault will have an “at-fault” accident on his or her insurance record. If you are found at fault for any percentage of the accident, more than likely, your premium will go up on renewal.

To confirm how your rates will be affected, check with your agent, broker, or company representative.

Note: When you lend your vehicle to someone, you are also lending him or her insurance. If the individual you lent your vehicle to has an at-fault accident while using your vehicle, the car accident will go on your insurance record, and your automobile insurance premium will go up.

DO TRAFFIC TICKETS MATTER?

If you are charged with an offence, you will not necessarily be found at fault for insurance purposes.

Similarly, if police don’t file charges, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the insurance company investigating the circumstances of the accident will not find one or more of the drivers involved at fault. For example, if a vehicle was unable to stop on an icy road and rear-ended another, a police officer may say that neither of the drivers was “at fault.” Such a comment relates to the laying of charges and should not be taken as an opinion about how the Fault Determination Rules apply to an auto insurance claim. In a case like this, the insurer would apply the rule stating that a vehicle which rear-ends another is at fault.

On the other hand, with certain types of charges, the Fault Determination Rules will not apply, and fault will instead be determined according to the ordinary rules of negligence law.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation, we can help you. Visit our Traffic Tickets section to find out more.