Motor Vehicle Collisions a Leading Cause of Serious Injuries in Nova Scotia

by John McKiggan

In the early hours of May 26, 2019, a car struck a culvert that left two Nova Scotia men seriously injured. RCMP police quickly alleged that the driver was showing signs of alcohol impairment. The passenger of the vehicle was transported by LifeFlight to Halifax for further medical treatment.

This unfortunate accident is just one of hundreds of motor vehicle collisions that happen across Nova Scotia every day.

How Much Are My Injuries Worth?

The number one question we are asked by just about every client that calls us is some variation of: “What’s my claim worth?”

The honest answer, at least in the early stages of any accident claim, is usually: “It depends.”

Every car accident settlement claim is unique. A variety of factors must be considered in each case, including who is at fault and even how fault for the accident is to be attributed and how the accident caused or contributed to your injuries.

The insurance company (or the court) also has to consider the severity of injury, how long the injured person has been (or will be) disabled, how much are the medical bills, are there any lost wages and will there be any ongoing expenses for future care.

All of these issues play a part in accurately determining what a personal injury claim is worth and it can be months, sometimes even years, before the full extent of the injuries, and their future consequences, are clear.

Simply put, if a lawyer tells you what your claim is worth shortly after you have been injured, you should look for another lawyer.

Generally, the compensation for injuries that result in temporary disability are slightly more predictable than injuries that are likely to be long term or permanent.

How Much Insurance is Available to Pay the Claim?

The Insurance Act of Nova Scotia requires every motor vehicle liability policy to have a minimum limit of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), exclusive of interest and costs, against liability resulting from bodily injury to or the death of one or more persons and loss of, or damage to, property.

Most drivers in Nova Scotia commonly carry one million dollars ($1,000,000) of liability insurance. Commercial or corporate insurance policies are usually higher.

Loss of Past Income

If you are injured through the fault of another, you will be entitled to recover a reasonable settlement for the loss of income you suffered from the date of the injury until the date of trial and settlement. It is imperative that you or your loved record all lost earnings during this period of time to maximize your chances of receiving compensation.

Loss of Future Earning Capacity

If you are a victim of an injury that has unpredictably lasting effects such as traumatic brain injuries, you may be less employable or may become incapable of maintaining employment as you recover. The courts of Nova Scotia may rule that you are entitled to compensation for the loss of future income resulting from your injury.

Emotional and Psychological Distress

You or your loved one may have survived an accident without any physical injuries but may instead have developed underlying emotional and psychological trauma from the accident. These effects may not be detectable immediately after the accident but can have challenging effects on you and your loved ones’ private and professional lives. People who suffer emotional and psychological effects from accidents are more likely to use drugs and other substances to self-medicate, which may later spiral into substance abuse.

Cost of Present and Future Care

You or your loved one will incur medical costs that you shouldn’t be bear because of the negligence of the at-fault party. After you receive your initial diagnosis, you should continue to see your doctor on a regular basis regardless of the costs.

The amount of compensation for your injuries will largely depend on the medical records your doctor has documented. In the event that an insurance company refuses to settle the maximum amount, the records will become critical evidence at trial.

Damages in Fatal Injury Claims

In the event of death caused by an accident, the Fatal Injuries Act ensures that the deceased’s family is entitled to recover damages. The Act specifically lists the family members that are entitled to pursue a claim after a fatality. Any action brought under the Act shall be for the benefit of the deceased’s spouse, common-law partner, parent or child as the courts think proportionate to the injury resulting from the death to the deceased’s loved ones.

The compensation that can be recovered in a fatality claim include both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Compensation can include:

  • Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred for the benefit of the deceased;
  • Travel expenses incurred in visiting the deceased between hospitalization and the death;
  • Nursing and housekeeping costs incurred between the injury and the death including a reasonable allowance for loss of income;
  • Loss of guidance, care and companionship that a person would have benefitted from the deceased had the death not occurred;
  • Funeral expenses incurred by loved ones which were necessary for the burial of the deceased;
  • Loss of financial support if the deceased provided support to the surviving family members.

For more information about Fatal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims you can read this article.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

In Nova Scotia, motor vehicle and similar personal injury cases are subject to a limitation period from the time when the matter of the information arises. It is imperative for people involved in a traffic accident to seek legal support as soon as possible to ensure that they stand the best chance of fair compensation for damages.

If you are involved in an accident, do not make the mistake of taking on well trained and experienced nsurers, or at-fault drivers on your own. At McKiggan Hebert we believe that you should not be taken advantage of and that you should receive all the compensation due to help you recover your health and lost income. If you are a victim or have lost a loved one to a motor vehicle accident, call us on (902) 423-2050 or send us an email through our online contact form

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