How Personal Injury Lawyers In Red Deer and Central Alberta Can Help When You Get Into A Motor Vehicle Accident
In Alberta, the Ministry of Transportation maintains statistics on motor vehicle accident statistics and trends. According to the most recent report, which was completed in 2014, there were over 144,740 collisions. Of those collisions, 18,745 people were injured, of those injured approximately 83 percent sustained minor injuries and 17 percent sustained major injuries. Additionally, the report indicates that 328 Albertans were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2014.
The peak period for collisions is the evening rush hour when drivers are tired from working all day and are driving in large numbers. During rush hour generally, there is also a higher incident of stop and go traffic, which leads to an increase in motor vehicle accidents.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to accident benefits through your own auto insurance. You can also file a tort claim for additional damages, including pain and suffering. Both forms of compensation can be claimed at the same time, though they are both subject to subrogation.
Claim Accident Benefits
Accident benefits are no-fault benefits that are found in Section B of your auto insurance policy. There are three types of benefits under Section B: medical benefits, death and disability benefits and benefits for accidents outside of Alberta. The benefits outlined in Section B of your policy are defined by statute.
Medical benefits under Section B include coverage for all reasonable expenses incurred as a result of injuries suffered in the accident, up to $50,000. These benefits must be incurred within two (2) years from the date of the collision.
Reasonable medical expenses include costs for a wide variety of treatments as long as they are necessary. These expenses include traditional medical expenses, such as surgical, hospital, psychological, professional nursing and ambulance services. Reasonable medical expenses can also include paramedical services such as chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other related rehabilitative services, supplies, and treatment. Paramedical services are capped at fixed dollar amounts: chiropractic treatment: $750; massage therapy: $250; and acupuncture: $250.
File a Tort Claim
A tort claim is a claim for pain and suffering sustained in the motor vehicle accident and out of pocket expenses that are not covered under accident benefits. The filing of a tort claim is handled by personal injury lawyers in Red Deer and Central Alberta. The claim is against the insurer of the at-fault driver in the motor vehicle accident. As part of any settlement or judgment, amounts paid out for accident benefits are subtracted from the final judgment or settlement for the tort claim.
In Alberta, soft tissue injuries, meaning, sprains, strains and soft tissue pain are covered by what is referred to as the minor injury cap. In 2016, this cap for minor injuries was set at $4,956 and in 2017 it was set at $ 5,020.
In Schmolzer v. Higenbottam, 2009 ABQB 522 the court was faced with a tort claim following a motor vehicle accident in which Mr. Schmolzer, a commercial airline pilot, suffered from major injuries. Mr. Higenbottam was found to have proceeded through the intersection when the light was red colliding with Mr. Schmolzer. As a result, Mr. Schmolzer sustained major injuries, including a brain injury, which forced him to change careers.
The trial judge found the defendant was responsible for the accident which caused Mr. Schmolzer to sustain major injuries. These major injuries caused him to ensure significant pain and suffering and changes his career. The judge awarded him $75,000 for pain and suffering, $196,817 in past and future income loss, as well as additional damages for out of pocket expenses and future care
What are the First Steps?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a trusted personal injury lawyer serving Red Deer and Central Alberta at Schnell Hardy Jones LLP. After an accident your expenses will increase, including treatment, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, attendant care and potentially childcare. These expenses occur at a time where you may experience a reduced ability to earn income and may have a claim for lost wages or future economic loss.
Our Red Deer personal injury lawyers can assist you with your compensation claims. We have the experience, training and skills to obtain the greatest amount possible for you based on the facts of the case. We also have access to outside experts who can strengthen your case and reduce your stress as well.
As a Central Alberta law firm, we have lawyers in our Red Deer and Stettler offices. We can help you or a loved one obtain fair compensation that is needed and highly deserved. Contact our personal injury lawyers in Red Deer and Central Alberta at 1-888-342-7405.