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How do I determine fault after being in a car accident?
June 5, 2019

Most people have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a car accident. Often times the fault can be clear, and the blame will be on one side alone but there are times when the fault is not so obvious. In situations like this how do you determine fault? What does the law say about it? The answers might surprise you.

The rules for compensation governing auto insurance are usually mis-understood by many people. So how do auto insurance claims work in Quebec? First off, the responsibility in an accident is determined by your insurer alone. Even in situations where the police are called in to scene of an accident they will not be able to decide who was at fault. Your auto insurance company determines fault by following the guidelines in the Direct Compensation Agreement. This document covers most of the different scenarios as well as the percentage of responsibility of each driver involved in the accident.

Imagine yourself heading out to run a few errands on a Sunday afternoon. You’re driving within the speed limit and obeying the rules of the road when suddenly the car in front of you slams on his breaks causing you to smash in to their rear end. In this scenario most people would think the driver in front who slammed on his breaks was at fault however this would be false. The Quebec Highway Safety Code states that you are considered to be at fault for the accident as you did not maintain a safe enough distance with the car in front of you. This could have allowed you more time to react and possibly stop in time.

Even in cases where the other party is found guilty and you are entitled to compensation by your own insurance company, the amount you receive will be determined by the guidelines mentioned in the Direct Compensation Agreement. The agreement which is adhered to by all insurance companies was designed to simply handling insurance claims.

The amount you end up receiving in compensation will be determined by the level of responsibility in your insurance policy. If you are declared to be at fault, you will be compensated if the accident is covered under your insurance policy, minus the amount of your deductible if you have one.

If you are not at fault, you will be compensated even if you are not covered by your insurance policy, and you won’t have to pay any deductible as well.

Keeping some distance from the car in front of can help sometimes but we all know certain situations just can’t be avoided. In cases like these talk to your insurance provider to find more about what type of coverage you have.

The information provided to you by in this blog post is strictly meant for educational purposes only. This information should never be confused with getting proper legal advice. There is no substitute for legal consultation with an experienced and professional traffic ticket lawyer who understands the law and how it affects you. If you find yourself in a situation like this, please do not hesitate to call us for more information or to book your consultation with us.