Misfortunes one can bear. But, suffering because of someone else’s negligence is unbearable. Especially in motor vehicle accidents, if you or your loved one is injured. There is a guideline on the motor vehicle accident claims act in Alberta, Canada.
In Alberta, all vehicle owners are obliged to have valid liability insurance. What happens to people who don’t have it? In that case, they are liable to pay for the medical expenses and other damages.
Even in the worst cases, the at-fault driver flees from the scene of the accident. The injured victim is unaware of who to sue. Who will take care of the expenses? Where to seek compensation for the damages?
The injured victim falls into strange situations with all these questions. So, here we are to help you navigate the path to secure the compensation you deserve. Find out about the Alberta motor vehicle accident claims program.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program
The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims program was first formed in 1947. It was created through the establishment of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act. The purpose of the MVAC program is to protect the right of the person injured by uninsured drivers.
According to the Alberta motor vehicle accident claims act, the injured person or close family members can claim. The MVAC program is designed to ensure the injured person can sue and get compensation for their injuries.
Otherwise, the victim would not be able to claim their damages without this program. The reason is that the at-fault driver is uninsured and unknown. So the injured person has no one to sue.
Motor vehicle accident claim program comes in handy in many situations. But, it does have some limitations as well. For example;
- MVAC only covers compensation for injuries that happen in the body. It doesn’t include compensation for property damage.
- The accidents where the unknown or uninsured driver is at fault are counted under MVAC. Multi-vehicle collisions are not included where multiple parties are at fault. In those cases, you need to seek compensation from them at first, according to Alberta law.
- Motor vehicle accident claims fund pays a maximum of $20000 to all victims of an accident.
When Can You File a Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act in Alberta?
The settlements under the MVAC program are considered as the final resort. It means when other options have failed, you can sue for compensation under the MVAC program. Moreover, you need to perform the followings before you file a claim under MVAC;
- Investigate all of the possible insurance coverage as well as the partial coverage.
- MVAC may not pay for interim medical expenses, except for some exceptional cases. So you need to contact your insurance company and ask them to pay for these expenses.
- File a claim against the uninsured or unknown driver who is liable for the accident. It is advisable to seek legal help to file a lawsuit.
- Send a notice of your claim to the liable or at-fault driver. In these cases, the responsible person mostly remains unknown. Here you can get information from the possible witnesses.
Eligibility for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in Alberta
You’ll be eligible to receive a settlement through Motor Vehicle Accident Claims only if;
- You are suffering body injuries from an accident. Property damages are not included, as mentioned above.
- You may be eligible for personal injury claims in Alberta through MVAC if you are an Alberta resident.
- The accident took place in Alberta.
- An uninsured or unknown driver was only at fault for the accident.
Benefits for the Injured Person under MVAC
In a motor vehicle accident, the injured victim has two policies of insurance to access. These policies are designed to assist the injured person with their expenses. Both policies pay a certain amount under the motor vehicle accident claims fund in Alberta.
- The first insurance policy is from the injured person’s vehicle called Section B benefits or No-Fault benefits.
- The second insurance policy is from the at-fault driver’s vehicle, which is called third-party liability benefit
The section B or no-fault benefit covers a maximum limit of $50,000 per person in Alberta. If four people in injured in the same accident, each person is entitled to a maximum of $50,000 for medical treatment.
However, the section B benefit is instead called the “death benefit.” It is entitled to the close family members of the deceased person. The coverage for death benefits varies depending on the age of the dead person.
Also, it depends on the relationship the deceased person shares with the person who makes a claim. It included up to $5000 for funeral expenses and $400 for grief counseling per family.
Third-party Liability Benefits
The deceased person’s family members may also bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The third-party liability benefits included the following financial support;
Funeral and Burial Expenses
The at-fault party’s insurance company is liable to pay expenses related to funeral, burial, or cremation service. In addition to the Section B benefits, the deceased person’s family members can also receive these expenses.
Under section 8 of Alberta’s Fatal Accident Act, there is a claim for the grief of the deceased person. It may be claimed by parents, spouse, or child of the dead person.
The grief compensation for the parents is $82,000. Moreover, the spouse also gets $82,000. Lastly, $49,000 grief compensation is given to the child.
Compensation for Loss of Housekeeping Capacity and Child Care
This benefit can be given to the dependent family of the deceased person. How much to give depends on the hours per week the dead person worked. The hourly rate is determined considering someone to hire to do all household chores.
Loss of Dependency
Family members of the deceased can claim this benefit if they are dependent on the dead. This compensation is claimed against the at-fault party.
The family members of the deceased person can also claim out-of-pocket expenses against the at-fault party. These expenses include the cost of care for the deceased person during the time of injury.
Determining Which Driver is At-Fault
In most fatal accidents, the family members of the deceased do not discuss liability immediately. However, it is essential to find out who is at fault as soon as possible. Otherwise, there will be no evidence remaining after a specific time.
The best move the family members of the deceased can take is seeking legal help. A personal injury lawyer may help you preserve the evidence and witness statements. So, they can use it later for further civil proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question-01: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim in Alberta?
Answer: Most of the motor vehicle accident cases settle before it goes for trial in court. A settlement can be done at any time before the final verdict. If the case goes to court, it can take three to four years and even more.
Question-02: What is the CAP for Whiplash in Alberta?
Answer: In Alberta, the government has endorsed a law on CAP, is maximum of $4000 for whiplash-related injuries. The amount may be around $5000 currently.
Question-03: How Much Can Someone Sue for a Motor Vehicle Accident in Alberta?
Answer: An injured person can sue and get payment of up to $200,000 for their injuries. If there is more than one victim, the payment will be split between all.
Question-04: Can Someone Sue You for a Motor Vehicle Accident If You Have Insurance, Alberta?
Answer: They can. The injured person can seek compensation from your insurance company. They might sue you if you were involved in the accident.
Question-05: How Much is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Answer: In a motor vehicle accident, the typical payout for pain and suffering is under $15,000. It depends on the type of injury.
The motor vehicle accident claims to act in Alberta is a complex field of law. Consider it as the last option as it is designed for a specific purpose. In a fatal accident, the injured or family members of a deceased person should contact an experienced lawyer. So, the surviving family members can recover the compensation.