Can passengers sue after a car accident?

Can passengers sue after a car accident?

If you are a passenger in a vehicle involved in a car accident in Alberta, you have the right to sue and claim compensation from the at-fault driver.

Under provincial law, a fault-based system is used to determine which driver(s) contributed to the accident. Those who share liability for the collision (wholly or in part) are “at fault” for the accident and are liable for any injuries, death or property damage stemming from it.

If the driver did not own the vehicle, this liability could extend to the owner if the driver operated the vehicle with the owner’s consent. Recognizing that the monetary value of the damages arising from an accident can be considerable, all vehicle owners and drivers in Alberta are legally required to have valid liability insurance.

What are Section B benefits?

If you are a passenger in someone’s vehicle in Alberta and are hurt in a collision, their insurance will provide you with Section B benefits. These benefits ensure that your basic medical expenses are covered, regardless of the eventual outcome of any personal injury litigation.

Under provincial law, the limit of Section B coverage for medical treatment is $50,000 per person. If, for example, there were three people injured in the same vehicle that is ensured in Alberta, each person is entitled to a maximum of $50,000 in medical benefits.

If you are seeking Section B disability benefits, the maximum amount paid is $600 per week of lost earnings or 80 per cent of your pre-tax average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. The legislation stipulates that you cannot claim Section B disability benefits unless you are “wholly and continuously” disabled by the injuries from an automobile accident. This means that the injuries you have suffered prevent you from returning to work.

The rules around Section B benefits are complex and include deadlines and exceptions that may not be familiar to you. For those reasons, many people are denied coverage. If you are in that situation, call our office. We will discuss the circumstances of your case and give you an idea of your chance of success if we launch legal action on your behalf.

What if the at-fault driver is a friend or spouse?

Anyone who incurs severe or long-lasting injuries from the accident should consult with a personal injury lawyer to explore the best way to receive the compensation they deserve. But what if the at-fault driver is someone close to you, such as a friend, family member or spouse? That does not matter. If you are injured, it is always in your interest to pursue a claim.

Keep in mind that their insurance company will end up paying for the claim, so it will not come out of their pocket. If they were at fault for the accident, their insurance premiums would increase regardless of whether you pursue a claim.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company will defend the claim and pay for any compensation, whether that amount is determined through litigation or mediation.


AFTER AN ACCIDENT, CONTACT US

A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you need to help you recover from any injuries. They can also make sure that your insurance company does not attempt to limit the compensation that you are owed. Schedule your Free Consultation by calling (403) 452-2011 or send a message to kantor@kantorllp.ca. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid for our time and attention until we settle.

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Kantor LLP Personal Injury
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