Most drivers understand what they need to do if they are involved in a car accident in Ontario. However, what if your traffic accident occurs outside of Ontario? What are the steps you need to take to protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries? Who should you call with questions about filing a claim for accidents outside of your home province?
The first step is to contact our office to speak with one of our Ontario car accident lawyers. Accident claims outside of your home province involve some complex issues of law that can significantly impact your claim. Our lawyers can provide guidance and advice regarding where your claim must be filed, the laws that will apply to your claim, and potentially short deadlines for filing claims in other jurisdictions.
Where Will Your Claim Be Filed?
In many cases, your claim would be filed in the province where the accident occurred. However, there are instances when you can file your car accident claim in Ontario even though the crash took place outside of the province. To file a claim in your home province, you must establish a “presumptive connecting factor” according to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda. The four ways to pass this test are:
- The person who caused the crash (the defendant in the lawsuit) lives in Ontario;
- The defendant does business or operates a business in Ontario;
- The wrongful act was committed within Ontario; or,
- A contract that is related to the incident was entered in Ontario.
You might also move the case to Ontario if you can show that your damages were incurred within Ontario. However, the defendant could argue that the jurisdiction where the accident occurred is more appropriate and efficient. You can try to keep the claim in Ontario by providing evidence that your injuries preclude you from traveling or make it very difficult for you to file your claim in the province where the crash took place.
Other Factors When Dealing with Accidents Outside of Ontario
Jurisdiction over the claim is only one factor you must consider when injured in a vehicle crash outside of Ontario. Some jurisdictions may have shorter deadlines for filing claims and lawsuits in addition to lower insurance requirements. Having a lawyer with extensive experience handling these types of personal injury claims is your best chance of ensuring you are treated fairly and justly regardless of where the car accident lawsuit is ultimately filed.
Steps to Take After an Accident in Another Province
If you are involved in a traffic-related accident outside of Ontario, the following steps can help you protect your legal rights.
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident.
- Avoid saying “I’m sorry” or apologizing for the collision even if you think you may have been partially at fault.
- Take photographs of the accident scene, if it is safe for you to do so.
- Ask for the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- Do not say that you are not hurt. If you do not need to be transported by ambulance, tell the officer you are going to see a doctor because you are not sure of your condition.
- See a doctor as soon as possible. You want to protect your health and your injury claim. Some injuries are not immediately noticeable after a car wreck.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Keep copies of everything and make detailed notes of all conversations related to the accident, your injury, or your recovery.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Call an Experienced Ontario Car Accident Lawyer
Regardless of whether your crash occurs inside or outside of Ontario, the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond are ready to help you seek full compensation for your injury claim. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.