Motor Vehicle Accidents

In Ontario, the right to obtain compensation for injuries and damages caused in a motor vehicle accident is restricted by various rules and time limits known as the "No-Fault Insurance" rules.

Often, an injured person may end up having to pursue claims against as many as three different insurance companies:

  • their own insurer, for Accident Benefits;
  • the "at fault" driver's insurer, for other damages not covered by Accident Benefits; and
  • their disability insurer, often provided as an employment benefit, for some of their income losses not covered by a) and b).

The interaction of these various insurance regimes is very complex and frequently difficult for the average person to understand. See our sections on "No-Fault Insurance", "Accident Benefits", and "Disability Insurance," for further insight into these types of claims.

Not every person injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario will have the right to sue for damages. The accident must first be the fault of some third party, and there are damage thresholds that must be exceeded before a successful claim can be made. As a general rule, only very seriously injured people are entitled to sue for their losses. Please see our "Civil Litigation" basic steps for how such a lawsuit will generally proceed. The limitation period to commence a law suit arising out of a motor vehicle accident is normally two years. If that deadline is missed, you will lose all your rights to sue the responsible driver for compensation. As previously mentioned, this is a complex area of the law. It is important that you consult a lawyer who is familiar with the potential problems that can arise, before meeting an insurance adjuster.