Some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents involve trucks. Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and even the deaths of thousands of Canadian residents. The kind of trucks mostly involved in accidents are tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, semi trucks, and other large commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of greater than 10,000 pounds.
Most common causes of truck accidents are truck rollovers, jackknifing, under-riding, trucks crossing into oncoming traffic, trucks taking a wide turn and hitting a vehicle, truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel, failing to adjust speeds on downhill or winding roads, failing to properly maintain the truck and disregarding trucking regulations, among others.
Injuries incurred can range from minor to catastrophic such as:
- concussion, traumatic brain injury, closed head injury
- spinal cord injury including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- broken bones, fractures
- shoulder injuries
- neck injuries
- knee injuries
- scarring and other forms of disfigurement
- soft tissue injuries
- and other serious disabilities
Just like any other motor vehicle accidents in Ontario, people who incur injuries as a result of a truck accident are entitled to receive compensation. Compensation can either be claimed by filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident, otherwise called at-fault claim, or filing for an accident benefits claim through an automobile insurance company sometimes known as the no-fault claim. Unlike other provinces in Canada, in Ontario you can do both.
Ontario laws provide for accident benefit coverage amended in 2010 to give drivers more control over their car insurance coverage and premiums. Claiming the mandatory benefits will also allow you immediate access to compensation which you might need for treatment or fast recovery while your lawsuit is ongoing. Because these benefits are mandated by law, it is defined and regulated by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS).
Through the accident benefits claim, you may be entitled to income replacement benefits, caregiver benefits, medical and rehabilitation benefits and attendant care benefits. In cases of death, your survivors may be entitled to death and funeral benefits.
You can file a claim for accident benefits through your own automobile insurance policy or, if you do not have any insurance, through the driver at-fault’s insurance policy. If none of the person’s involved in the accident have insurance, as a last resort, the claim can be made through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Always remember that the accident benefits will only pay for the balance or whatever is not covered by your other insurance policies such as one acquired through your employer or through your spouse.
As for the lawsuit, you can claim damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, past and future income loss, economic compromise, and past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, the prescribed timeframe in claiming accident benefits and informing the automobile insurance policy of your intention to claim is within seven days from the date of the accident. The insurance company will send you the forms which you must be able to complete and file 30 days from receipt. The insurance company is required to make a reply to your claim within 14 days from receipt. If you intend to file a lawsuit, you must notify the driver at-fault 120 days from date of accident and your lawsuit must be filed within the prescribed two years.
Whichever ways you choose to seek compensation, it will be to your advantage to seek the advice of a lawyer. The accident benefits claim can sometimes get complex especially since you must decide on the benefits that best apply to your situation. If you are entitled to more than one benefit, your lawyer can advise you of this.
If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, the last thing you should worry about is how to pay for expensive legal assistance. At Deuschmann Law, we cover all court costs in advance and there are no fees whatsoever unless we are successful in reaching a judgement or settlement for you. We offer free home or hospital visits so don’t delay, get our experienced team working for you today.
Latest blog posts related to Truck Accidents: