Recovering losses after an MVA
One Question clients often have when they have been in a motor vehicle accident is: "What losses can be recovered?"
When you’ve been in an accident, there are a variety of expenses that arise that were never considered before, including damage to your vehicle, other items in the vehicle, and medical expenses you might encounter if you suffered any injuries.
In Atlantic Canada, an insured driver who is in an accident is covered for all medical expenses related to their recovery, including physiotherapy, prescription medication, chiropractic treatment, and a variety of other treatments for their injuries. These expenses are covered by your own insurance policy, under Section B.
There are, however, a variety of other financial losses that car accident victims suffer, that they do not recognize, or don’t know they can recover. These losses can be hard to quantify but need to be recognized and recovered in order to put an accident victim who was not at fault back in the position they were in prior to the accident.
Loss of Income
Often following a car accident, people are forced to take some time off work to recover. Sometimes this is simply a few days, while at other times this can amount to weeks or months. While they may be able to return to their original jobs, this loss of income, or use of vacation days in less serious cases, is recoverable from the driver at fault’s insurance company.
Likewise, small business owners can recover losses suffered by their businesses as a result of their absence, or because they aren’t able to dedicate the same amount of time and focus towards their business venture they used to.
These losses of income, whether as an employee or self-employed, can be difficult to prove, and detailed financial records and even expert testimony may be required. However, this is often where the greatest amount of damages are recovered, particularly in serious accidents.
Loss of Valuable Services
During their recovery process, accident victims are often lucky enough to have the help of friends and family members to manage some of the chores and tasks around their home that they are used to handling themselves. Other times, they don’t have that support system in place and need to hire some outside help to keep up with their daily lives. That might be as simple as hiring the kid next door to mow the lawn or shovel the driveway, or it might be as serious as hiring a taxi 2-3 times a day in order to get around, as they can no longer drive themselves.
These costs, if they are necessary for a victim to live their life, are recoverable from the driver at faults insurance. If you have been in an accident and are incurring these types of expenses, such as cleaning services, travel expenses, or other tasks you used to do yourself but no longer can, its important to keep track of them. Likewise, if a friend or family member is performing the tasks for you, you may be able to repay them for all of their help later on, so keep track of that too.
Cost of Future Care
Sometimes after an accident, in spite of all the excellent care available in Canada, an accident victim can’t quite recover physically to the same level they were at prior to the accident. They might continue to need treatments or medication for the foreseeable future in order to cope with their injuries. These injuries are covered under Section B at first, but only for the first four years after the accident, and only up to $50,000.00. After that your insurance will no longer cover these medical expenses, even though you may require them for the rest of your life. These costs, even though they haven’t been incurred yet, can be recovered from the at fault driver’s insurance company. It may require a number of assessments by medical professionals to find out what will be needed, but they can rest assured that they can afford to continue receiving these necessary treatments without going broke.
While you can recover money for the pain and suffering you have experienced as result of an accident, this is only a small fraction of what you might be able to recover. The examples above represent only a few of the most common recoverable losses. It’s important to contact a legal professional to help you assess and recover your losses, and ensure that your claim is being well looked after.
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