Fair Compensation After Your Car Accident: 6 Things You Should Know | Alloy LLP

Car accidents can be traumatizing events that lead to physical injuries and significant financial challenges. To make matters worse, for most people it is their first time navigating the legal system – adding additional stress to your life when you’re already suffering.

One common question we cover with clients is around what categories of compensation they may be entitled to. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s helpful to know this so that you can keep them in mind as you begin your recovery. In this blog post, we will explore the various types of compensation you may be able to claim following a car accident in Alberta, helping you navigate the legal process and recover the damages you deserve.

  1. Pain and Suffering: Car accident victims often experience physical and non-physical injuries. Common injuries include whiplash, or anxiety while driving after an accident. Regardless of your exact injury, you may be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering, also known as non-pecuniary damages, aims to provide monetary relief for the physical discomfort, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life resulting from the accident. Calculating the impact of these injuries is not as simple as “this injury is worth that amount” as some may believe – the same injury can have a drastically different impact (for example, shoulder pain may end one’s ability to work in the Trades, yet not in office). Pain, duration, severity, treatment, and more all impact the calculation.

  2. Medical Expenses: One of the most critical areas of compensation after a car accident is medical expenses. Alberta law requires insurers to provide you with Section B coverage which, for two years after an accident, covers some medical treatments, medications and rehabilitation services. We cover the exact details of Section B in our blog post here, however the most important takeaway to know that for a variety of reasons this coverage may not cover all of your costs.

    • For injuries which become chronic, or last beyond two years, you may also be entitled to costs of future care. For example, if your neck pain does not resolve and your doctor suggests you may need to see a physiotherapist once a month for the next decade – you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of those 120 visits to ensure you are not out of pocket. It is important to keep detailed records of all medical expenses to support your claim, however we can often assist in acquiring them as needed.

  3. Income Loss and Loss of Earning Capacity: Car accidents can often result in temporary or permanent disability, leading to income loss or diminished earning capacity. Most people are aware that if you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. It is helpful to track any hours you miss, or income lost, after an accident.

    However many of our clients are surprised when they find out that they can also claim for future economic losses. This is referred to as a Loss of Earning Capacity. It is compensation for the losses you may incur in the future as a result of your injuries and is common in cases where pain lingers. Depending on your age, employment history, and other factors your claim for loss of earning capacity may be very significant.

  4. Housekeeping – Past and Future: If you can’t maintain your home due to an accident, you can claim damages for the costs involved. This may include costs associated with chores such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, yard work, house maintenance, or caring for children. You may be able to claim compensation, regardless of whether you hire someone or are unable to do it yourself.

    This is because housekeeping has economic value, no matter where the replacement services come from. Even if someone volunteers to help you for free (commonly family or friends), you may still be entitled to compensation. To help prove your case, it is worth making a list of household activities you either can’t perform, or struggle with, after the accident. Even simply recording how much time it takes you to complete a task (compared to prior to the accident) can be helpful.

    As with income loss and medical expenses, you may also be owed future damages, depending on the severity of the injury and your age.

  5. Property Expenses: Damage to your vehicle or other personal property from the accident entitles you to compensation for repairs or replacement. Depending on the item, it may be paid for by your insurer, or the at-fault driver’s insurance. Common items that may have been damaged include your phone, child car seats, or glasses. Take time to inspect your property after the accident to ensure you notice any damage as soon as possible.

  6. Out of Pocket & Misc. Expenses: The goal of our claims process is to ensure you are not out of pocket for any cost related to the accident. If you spend money on anything (such as pain medication or gas to get treatment) it’s worth keeping track of. The more receipts and records you have, the easier it is to ensure you make a full recovery for your costs after an accident.

Understanding the types of compensation you can claim is crucial for navigating the legal process after a car accident. Remember that claiming this compensation does not hurt the other driver, and is meant to ensure you are not suffering because of a mistake someone else made. No one hopes to be in an accident, however if you are then it is important to remember that seeking fair compensation for your losses is both reasonable and understandable.

If you have questions about your specific claim, please take advantage of our free consultations and one of our lawyers will be happy to speak with you. You can request a consultation by text (825-413-4414) or email (Help@alloy.law).