The first steps you take after you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision are arguably the most important if you later decide to file a claim with your insurance company. Common misconceptions are the reason why many claims are later denied or settle for far less than the claimant would otherwise have been awarded. In order to prevent such issues from occurring in your future, we have gathered some of the most common misconception surrounding motor vehicle collisions that have taken place in Ontario and debunked them.
“Minor” collisions don’t need to be reported
There are too many people out there who hold the false belief that “minor” accidents do not require reporting if the involved parties can find common ground on their own. However, that is not how the law works. Legally speaking, any accident that results in less than $1,000 in damages does not need reporting, but actually making a proper estimate on site can be rather difficult.
Even damages that appear to be minor can cost a lot more to fix, or may bring along other, less visible, damages which ultimately add up to several thousand dollars. Because of this, it is best to proceed with caution and report a collision, if you are unsure. And if you and the other involved parties decide to settle matters through your insurance companies, then these matters need to be initiated within the first week following the incident.
The police determine who is at fault
Even if the officer that was sent to the site of the collision determines that you are not liable for causing the accident, that does not automatically mean that you cannot be held liable by the insurance company. After all, any law enforcement will also have to refer to Ontario’s Fault Determination Rules, which are documented in the Insurance Act.Your injury lawyer will be able to deal with the law enforcement and other government agencies on your behalf.
I don’t have to pay a deductible, if I’m not liable
Paying your deductible is non-negotiable. Should you choose to file a claim, then you will also have to pay your deductible. This may not seem fair but paying it will pay off when you are awarded the settlement you deserve.It is best to talk with a personal injury lawyer in Collingwood to know more about the process.
My insurance owes me replacement parts
Depending on your contract, your insurer is likely required to replace the car parts damaged during the collision if their lack would endanger the driver’s safety. Replacement parts generally need to be of similar quality to the ones that were damaged.