Vehicle and Car Accident Lawyer in Halifax and Nova Scotia
In this section, we’ll provide an overview of car accident claims including establishing the at-fault party, types of car accident claims and what to do when involved in a collision. We will also take a close look at the different types of damages that result from a car accident claim and the compensation that one may be eligible for. If you have been seriously injured and looking for a car accident lawyer in Halifax Nova Scotia, call us now for FREE CONSULTATION at 1-800-465-8794
All motorists are expected to drive responsibly and to share the road safely with others. Failing to drive responsibly can lead to a serious accident. When someone causes injury in an accident, the injured victim has a right to compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
The same rights and responsibilities apply to people operating a boat, snowmobile, ATV, or bicycle. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, our team will provide the support, guidance, and advocacy you need. And we’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. The consequences of an accident can be overwhelming, but you are not on your own. Our team of experienced accident lawyers have the necessary knowledge and skill to help guide you through the entire process. We take pride in serving individuals from our community and welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your claim.
Types of Losses From a Car Accident And Compensations
Car accidents happen too often and the effects can be devastating. Injuries can impact not only your ability to work but also your daily life and relationships. All motorists are expected to drive responsibly and to share the road safely with others. Failing to drive responsibly can lead to negligence that causes a serious accident. When someone causes injury in an accident, the injured victim has a right to compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
1. Pecuniary damages: These are a type of compensatory damages that are simply quantifiable. This simply means that these damages can be easily measured in financial terms. Any expenses that are directly linked to the car accident and can be clearly quantifiable will be included in the claim as pecuniary damages. Common examples of pecuniary damages include:
- Medical costs such as doctors’ fees, hospital bills, and medication expenses.
- Lost wages (when the claimant cannot work as a result of the accident)
- Future care costs (if the claimant sustains injuries that require long term care such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc)
- Physical damage during the incident to any property that was owned by the claimant
2. Non-pecuniary damages: These are compensatory damages that are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. These expenses are often not easily measured because they are often subjective. Examples of costs that may arise as a result of the incident and are not straightforward to quantify include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress (depression, anxiety & emotional harm)
- Impairment of relationships (relationship with family, friends or colleagues deteriorates as a result of the car accident)
- Loss of future wages or difficulty finding another job
- Impairment of mental and physical abilities
3. Special damages: These are damages awarded to cover actual out-of-pocket expenses that the claimant may have incurred as a result of the car accident. Common examples of special damages include:
- Short term medical expenses (doctor’s consultation fees, hospital costs, diagnostic tests and hospital stay)
- Long-term medical expenses (physiotherapy & other long-term medical treatments)
- Transportation costs (e.g. traveling to and from the hospital via taxi, private car, or bus)
- Loss of income (if your salary was cut or you lost some bonuses or perks because of the injuries sustained during the incident)
- Loss of earning capacity (if unable to return to your former workplace or you’re forced to take a lower paying job)
- Repair or replacement of damaged property (any property that was damaged during the accident you can claim for the cost of repairing or replacing it under special damages)
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Halifax
The lawyers at Wagners represent people who have suffered catastrophic and/or noncatastrophic injuries from automobile accidents, including car, motorcycle, truck, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. Our lawyers have achieved great success handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those resulting from:
1. Fatal Car Accidents: Every year, thousands of families lose their loved ones to fatal car accidents. These accidents are usually severe and have life-changing impacts to those involved. Families are left bereaved, coping with the enormous loss let alone the burden of making funeral arrangements and sorting bills which is always very overwhelming
2. Rear-end Collisions: When a car strikes another car in front of it, it’s considered a rear-end collision. This is common in heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. When this incident occurs, the vehicle that is hit can be significantly damaged to the back and the driver and passengers may also sustain injuries. These accidents can involve multiple cars if the forward car that was hit crashes into the car in front of it in a cascading pattern.
3. Head-on Collisions: A head-on collision is a crash that occurs when a vehicle’s front-end crashes with another vehicle’s front end. This usually happens when one vehicle is on the wrong lane of traffic. These accidents are usually serious since they often occur at high speeds. Drivers and passengers involved in a head-on collision may suffer significant catastrophic injuries or sudden death.
4. Side Impact T-bone Collisions: When one vehicle strikes another on the side, usually, at a 90-degree angle, this type of collision is known as a side impact T-bone collision. This often occurs when a driver runs the stop sign or stop light and another car heads towards it at a perpendicular angle. Accidents like these can lead to serious injuries and fatalities because there’s less protection on the doors and side of the car to ensure the occupants are safe from harm.
5. Sideswipe Accidents: When two vehicles that are moving in the same direction come into contact with one another and crash, this type of accident is called a sideswipe. Sideswipe accidents can also occur when a moving vehicle hits a stationary object like a pole or sign. These accidents are usually not very severe, but it depends on the speed of the involved cars.
6. Intersection Accidents: These accidents occur at intersections especially when the driver is trying to make a left turn, and another is running a yellow light in the opposite direction. Accidents at the intersection can be extremely dangerous especially for the passengers on the left side mainly if their car lacks side airbags.
7. Left and Right Turn Accidents: These accidents occur when drivers make a right or left turn, but one driver doesn’t have the right of way. Drivers who don’t have a right of way are meant to be careful and only turn when there’s plenty of room to do so safely. Left turn accidents are the most common ones and they occur at uncontrolled intersections, unlike right turn accidents which are more common between vehicles and pedestrians.
8. Lane-change and Merging Accidents: When changing lanes on a highway, the car can move into another lane and find another vehicle already present resulting in a collision. This often occurs when the driver doesn’t time its entrance to a new lane well enough and ends up colliding with another vehicle. These accidents are often as a result of reckless driving where one driver may have failed to check their blind spots.
9. Fixed Object Collisions/Single Vehicle Accidents: A single vehicle may leave the road and strike a fixed object on the side of the road. This often occurs when the driver is distracted, impaired, fatigued, or driving in bad weather conditions. This type of accident may result in substantial car damage as well as bodily harm to the driver and passengers involved especially if the vehicle was traveling at high speeds.
10. Low-Speed Collisions: A collision can still occur when a car is moving at a low speed, say 15mph or less. This type of accident is often common in the parking lot when the motorist hits another car or in slow moving traffic when a car hits another’s bumper. Such accidents typically do not result in significant damage or serious injuries.
11. Rollovers: A vehicle may collide with a low or short object when traveling at high speeds forcing it out of the road rolling on its side, roof or a complete 360 degrees. Rollover accidents, also known as tripping, often occur at high speeds such as when cars swerve to avoid a collision with another vehicle or object in the road. They are more common in larger vehicles or top-heavy cars.
12. Hit and Run Accidents: In hit and run accidents, the vehicle involved leaves the scene. It could be a car that collided with a parking car and the motorist drives away. It could also be a car that hits a stationary object or a pedestrian while driving at high speeds and drives off the scene.
Who is at Fault in Car Accident?
Our Halifax based accident lawyers will work tirelessly to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Following a car accident, it is important to speak with an accident lawyer as soon as possible to be advised of your rights. By doing so, we are able to work with you to preserve important evidence and craft the best legal strategy for your claim. We will also ensure your claim is compliant with all provincial filing limitations and deadlines. At a time when you should be focused on recovering from your injuries, let us handle the rest. Our lawyers will answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process. Before anyone can be held legally responsible for another’s injury, the act of negligence must be proven. Negligence claims involve 4 main distinct elements:
1) Duty of Care: The first step in proving negligence is to determine whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care. This is often dictated by the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. For instance, the doctor owes a patient a legal duty of care to offer him/her competent medical care.
2) Breach of Duty : Even if the defendant must have owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the given circumstances, the court will seek to determine whether he/she breached this legal duty by acting or not acting in a way that a reasonably prudent person would have acted under similar circumstances. If an average person, knowing what the defendant knew at the time would have acted differently than the defendant acted in that situation, he/she will be found negligent.
3) Causation: The third element involves proving that because of the defendant’s actions or failure to act in a certain way, the plaintiff was injured. Showing a defendant’s negligence caused injuries is not always an easy process. This element looks at whether the defendant could have reasonably foreseen the impact of his or her actions. If the defendant’s actions resulted in injury through a random and unforeseeable event, he/she may not be found liable.
4) Damages: Lastly, this element of a negligence case proves that the defendant’s actions or inaction resulted in injury or harm. This is what will enable the court to compensate the plaintiff for his/her injury.
What to do Following a Car Accident?
Immediately following an accident, the health and safety of you and your family will of course be your number one priority. Following that, there are certain steps you should take to preserve your interests:
- STOP THE VEHICLE: It is illegal to drive away from the scene of the accident, even if it’s a minor incident.
- CALL 911 and seek medical attention for yours and your passenger’s injuries: Call the police even if there are no serious injuries. You’ll need the police report to file a claim with the insurance company.
- PROTECT THE SCENE: Setting up flares or keeping your flashers on can help you prevent further accidents and keep safe while your car is still on the road.
- TAKE PICTURES: of the vehicle if there are visible damages and pictures of your physical injuries.
- NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER: and track any time missed from work due to your injuries.
- CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY: to inform them of the accident.
- SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION: Make an appointment to see your family doctor regarding your injuries.
- KEEP A FILE: Keep records of any expenses incurred as a result of your accident. Keep a daily journal tracking your recovery. Make sure to note any restrictions in your daily life due to your injuries.
- PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS: Contact an experienced accident lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed with your claim.
- Leave the scene of the accident. By doing so the scene of an accident will automatically become the scene of a crime.
- Refuse to call 911. Even if none of the parties including you were injured, calling 911 is a must. The police are able to establish who was at fault.
- Forget or neglect to exchange information. You might feel lost or disoriented after the accident. Yet please keep in mind that exchanging insurance company information, and policy number is essential.
- Not to pay much attention to injuries. Even though you might feel minimal pain or no pain whatsoever, there’s a possibility minor injuries will become major ones after a short period of time. A proper checkup is a right thing to do after the accident.
- Admit one’s fault completely. It’s better to stay quiet until your lawyer will arrive and do the talking, so the information won’t be used against you.
- Minimize the value of evidence. Gather as much information as possible, including passing by witnesses, their contact information, and names.
- Communicate with other parties’ insurance companies. It’s not your job to speak with other parties’ insurance companies. Everything you say, might be used against you.
- Refuse to call your insurance company. Contact the insurance company and file a claim with them, so they won’t deny coverage.
- Not reach out or hire a lawyer immediately. If you hire a lawyer or provide the contact information of an already existing one, the other parties’ insurance company will have to communicate directly with the lawyer. Plus, your insurance company works through your lawyer.
- Hide the truth or omit important details while talking to your lawyer. Your lawyer is your close friend. Any accident where you involved is about you. Provide as much information as possible and make sure to ask questions. A solid lawyer is willing to guide you through the process, the lawyers at Wagners will do so and even more for their clients.
Schedule a Free Consultation for Your Case
There are certain benefits everyone is entitled to in Nova Scotia when injured in a car accident called Mandatory Accident Benefits. These benefits entitle you to treatment coverage for your injuries as well as a partial wage indemnity. Additionally, if you are not at fault for an accident, you are entitled to bring a third-party claim. Wagners represents victims in motor vehicle accident cases. We are a serious injury law firm that represents individuals throughout Nova Scotia, including HRM, Cape Breton, Antigonish, New Glasgow, Yarmouth, and beyond. Collectively, we have nearly 80 years of experience in helping injured victims in obtaining justice for their injury claims. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should speak with a lawyer. One of our car accident lawyer would be happy to speak with you if you have any questions free of charge. Contact us for your free consultation. You can reach our team by calling 902-425-7330 or 1-800-465-8794, or by completing a short online contact form.
If you are involved in a motorcycle or car accident in Nova Scotia, you are entitled to certain medical and wage benefits through your insurance provider. These benefits include medical benefits for services such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, assistive devices and medication; a wage loss component for time missed from employment; and travel expenses. There is coverage for these benefits regardless of who is at fault for the collision and your insurance premiums will not increase if you access these benefits. As of 2018, the maximum amount of coverage everyone is entitled to under this portion of the insurance policy is $50,000.00 or four years of coverage from the date of the accident. Although this sounds like a significant sum of money, accidents involving orthopedic injuries, or extensive dental damage can reach these maximums quite quickly.
One of the most stressful parts to being injured is your inability to work which will impact your ability to pay for rent, food, or other bills. Accident Benefits provides a partial wage indemnity benefit payment if you are placed off work for 7 days in the first 30 days after the collision by a physician. This wage indemnity pays to a maximum of $250 per week and is often paid in conjunction with Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits or a short-term/long-term disability policy. You are entitled to these benefits for the first two years after the accident if you are unable to do the essential duties of your occupation. Two-years post collision, you are only entitled to wage indemnity benefit if you are unable to return to any occupation which you a reasonably suited by education, training, and experience.
Short-Term/Long-Term Disability Policy
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and placed off work, you should contact your short-term/long-term disability insurer as soon as possible to access these benefits. Often your car insurer will not issue wage indemnity benefit until they first can assess how much you will be receiving from a short-term/long-term disability policy. The amount paid by these policies and the terms differ from policy to policy.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and placed off work and you are not eligible or do not have short-term/long-term disability you should apply for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits (EISB) as soon as possible. Often your car insurer will not issue wage indemnity benefit until they first can assess how much you will be receiving from EISB.
EISB provides 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings up to a maximum of $547 per week. These benefits last to a maximum of 15 weeks.