Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are far too common in Alberta. People who have sustained physical and emotional injuries in motor vehicle accidents are entitled to some victim compensation, either by the at-fault person or the municipal government.
All drivers in Alberta are required to have basic liability insurance to cover expenses in case they are involved in an accident. Driving without vehicle insurance is a serious offense that carries a fine of at least $2,500. Drivers who are victims of a hit and run accident or were hit by a driver without insurance can seek compensation from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC).
Only Alberta residents can file a claim with the Alberta Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program. The program will compensate people who were involved in a hit and run accident or for those residents who are injured in an accident where the responsible party did not have insurance. In these cases, the Albertan government will pay your settlement but it will be less than the amount an actual person would have had to pay. In order to file a personal injury claim, the accident had to have happened in Alberta. MVAC will not compensate victims if there are any possible insurance policies that can cover their losses.
Drivers who are involved in an accident will need to take down the other driver’s insurance information. If you sustained injuries after the accident, like soft tissue damage, you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation. Should you want to file a claim, you will have two years to create a lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident if they have valid insurance.
In Alberta, people who sustain minor injuries from a motor vehicle accident can be compensated up to $4,000, according to the Minor Injury Regulations and the Diagnostic Treatment Protocols. However, that amount has risen to $4,500 due to inflation in 2009. Minor injuries that fall under this cap include but are not limited to sprains, whip-lash, soft tissue injuries and muscle strains. Soft tissue injuries harm the tendons, muscles and ligaments and can cause bruising and swelling at the site of the injury. More severe injuries like fractures, mental trauma and dental injuries will not fall under the cap. Certified Medical Examiners must see the victim after the accident in order to assess their injuries and determine if they fall under the cap.
Injuries need to be fully healed in order to process a personal injury claim. This is because the severity of the injury will help determine how much compensation should be paid to you. Usually if the injuries are minor the claim may only take a few months to process. The settlement amount will depend on several different factors like the extent of the injury, what type of effects it will have on you, both emotionally or physically, and the cost of your medical bills.
So what should you do if you are involved in any type of motor vehicle accident? First and foremost you should schedule a visit with a doctor to rule out any serious injuries. Next find a top law firm to represent you and help file a personal injury claim. Last, work on gathering evidence to support your case such as who was at fault, the extent of any injuries and if there were any witnesses.