Understand the Average Claim for a Car Accident

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Car accidents are like snowflakes: no two are precisely alike. But while the old adage about snowflakes is a gentle homage to individuality, car accidents are far more macabre. They’re violent wrecks that can cause serious injuries. Their uniqueness isn’t poetic; it’s brutal. Still, as far as lawsuits and insurance policies are concerned, both major car accidents and minor fender benders distill into numbers and statistics, and those figures can further factor down to averages. Toronto personal injury lawyers know how the average claim for a car accident goes. If you want to know about the process and compensation for an average claim for a car accident, read on.


The Process: Filing with Insurance

Some factors for a car accident should always be the same. For example, since the law requires all drivers in Canada to have auto insurance, you should report your accident to your insurer as soon as possible, no matter what. They’ll file an insurance claim on your behalf. Be sure when filing your claim to have any details you can gather about the accident on hand (e.g. the make and model of all the cars involved, the names and insurance companies of the drivers, the name of the police officer, etc.)


The Process: What to Expect for a Damaged Vehicle

There are two factors to look at when estimating the amount of remuneration you’ll receive for a damaged vehicle: the extent of fault and the extent of the damage.

  • Fault
    • In Ontario, insurance companies refer to the Fault Determination Rules when assessing all motor vehicle accidents. These rules outline several dozen types of accidents and assign fault to each vehicle regardless of external circumstances.
    • Fault is assigned on a percentage basis. Thus you may be 0% at fault, 50% at fault, 100% at fault, etc.
    • Insurance will pay you for the percentage at which you were NOT at fault. In other words, if you were found 75% at fault for an accident that caused $2,000 of damage to your vehicle, you would receive 75% of the damage—or $1,500.
  • Damage
    • Under mandatory insurance coverage, you will be remunerated for the extent of damage to your vehicle (less the percentage that you were at fault), as well as for the cost of a temporary rental vehicle, if necessary.


The Figures: Average Claim Payout

In Ontario in 2014, there were approximately 85,000 accident and bodily injury claims filed. The average payout on these claims? A whopping $143,630! But this isn’t as positive a statistic as you might assume. Much of this high payout is due to even higher insurance premiums as compared to other provinces. If you’re hoping to get compensation that isn’t just reappropriation of your own money (money that you’re paying too much of, too), your best bet is to consult with a Toronto personal injury lawyer. They know the average claim for a car accident and know how to move your case away from the average, to suit your own specific needs.