One of the most important things for an accident victim to understand when pursuing their personal injury case is how the laws of damages apply to their individual case. The laws of damages are very important, because at the end of the day, how damages work has a direct impact on how much compensation an accident victim will receive at the conclusion of their personal injury case.
One of the examples that we use to illustrate the importance of how the laws of damages impact personal injury cases, is providing the example of what if Superman were involved in a car accident?
One nice summer day Superman is crossing the street as a pedestrian on his way to the local library. Suddenly and without warning, a drunk truck driver runs a red light and crashes directly into Superman; while Superman is crossing on a green light in between a cross walk. The accident is clearly not Superman’s fault.
There is a loud crashing sound at impact as the grill of the truck collides into Superman’s body. Smoke flies into the air. But Superman’s body doesn’t fall back, because Superman has super strength. Superman doesn’t even fall to the ground after the collision. Instead, the truck stops in its tracks once it hits Superman, leaving an indent of Superman’s body in the front grill of the truck. Superman remains standing, while the truck stops in his path.
Innocent bi-standers stare in shock. They approach Superman to see if he’s alright. Superman, being Superman does not even sustain a scratch in the accident. He is completely unharmed.
The police arrive to the accident scene shortly thereafter. They arrest the at-fault drunk driver and put him behind bars. Paramedics tend to Superman, but there is nothing to tend to. Superman, being Superman doesn’t need any medical attention. He is perfectly healthy after the accident. Superman co-operates with the police and tells them his version of how the car accident happened. All of the information which Superman provides to police will be used against the drunk driver in the criminal trial against the drunk driver. Superman then leaves the accident scene as if nothing happened.
The next day, Superman consults with a personal injury lawyer about his case. He tells the lawyer that he was crossing the street with a green light in between a cross walk when a drunk driver ran a red light and hit him. Superman is mad because the accident was not at all his fault. Superman is not a greedy person, but given how the accident happened, he feels that he should be compensated.
The personal injury lawyer firstly tells Superman that he’s honored and privileged to have him attend at his office, and that he’s a big fan of all of his work. The personal injury lawyer then agrees with Superman that the accident was not at all his fault and sympathizes with his frustration. However, the personal injury lawyer then asks Superman what injuries he sustained in the accident. Superman gives the personal injury lawyer a strange stare, because Superman has never known what it’s like to be injured. Superman then chuckles: “Injuries? Are you kidding me? I’m Superman for crying out loud! I didn’t even sustain a scratch in the accident”. The personal injury lawyer tells Superman that he’s thankful that Superman was not injured in the accident because then Superman would not be able to do his job of saving the world. But, because Superman was not injured in the accident, there was nothing which the personal injury lawyer could do to help Superman with his case. The personal injury lawyer tells Superman that just because he’s been involved in an accident, no matter how bad the accident, regardless if he was 100% not at fault; it does not automatically entitle you to compensation.
The personal injury lawyer then got Superman’s autograph to give to his son. He told Superman, that should his condition change and that the experience any sort of pain, trauma, discomfort, anxiety, depression or anything else attributable to the accident, that he should come back to his office to see him again. The Personal Injury Lawyer also told Superman that he had two years from the date of the accident to sue should his condition change.
Superman was thankful for the personal injury lawyer’s advice. He left the lawyer’s office, and took Lois Lane to the opera later that night. Superman did not have to return to see the personal injury lawyer, because he was completely unharmed.
In Ontario, just because people are injured in car accidents, does not mean they are automatically entitled to compensation. There are tricky laws of damages at play which only a personal injury lawyer can assist you with. Superman did the right thing in consulting with a personal injury lawyer right away after his car accident. The lawyer told Superman that he did not have a case at that point in time. This gave Superman the peace of mind he needed in knowing that his rights were being protected.
If you have been involved in a car accident, or any sort of accident; be like Superman. Consult with a personal injury lawyer right away. But just because you’ve been involved in that accident, does not automatically entitle you to damages or compensation. Let a personal injury lawyer assess whether or not there is anything there to claim.