Automotive

What are my rights in Canada when I am zero at fault in a car accident?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 15th, 2018 11:58 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 29, 2017
16 posts
1 upvote

What are my rights in Canada when I am zero at fault in a car accident?

Ok, I'm just annoyed of the myths and misunderstandings out there regarding obligations of Car insurance company when one of their clients causes a 100% fault accident and I am zero% at fault. What are my legal rights in Canada for car/property compensation?

I was recently in a car accident. I was zero at faults. The other person hit my car in broad daylight with lots of witnesses. Driver admitted to 100% fault. In a nutshell, I was minding my own business driving in my own lane when all of sudden the other driver crossed yellow centre line and collided with my car. Insurance of driver causing accident wants to write off my car. I want to refuse and ask them to restore my car.

I always assumed that our social contract we have in our society in Canada is that if I destroy your private personal property, and it is my fault, then oh my golly I am responsible to make it right by restoring your property to its before accident condition. Granted it may be costly no doubt, but that’s fair isn’t it?


So why can’t I ask the other insurance company to rebuild and restore my car? We all carry $500,000 (some have million dollar or more) liability insurance for such a day, right? SO Why doesn’t insurance company step-up to the plate and say: we will fix your car??!! Oh by the way we are so sorry our client was such a disk and wasn’t paying attention and hit your car.

So, if you have a comment or suggestion as how I should proceed with other person’s insurance company please write here. I really appreciate your input and suggestion. I have not signed anything so my options are all open. Should I get a lawyer to fight? My car is a daily commuter, and not a expensive car. And parts are cheap. Car can be fixed. I really love my car and want to have it fixed and continue using it. Thank you.
70 replies
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
6480 posts
1138 upvotes
You have none. If you done a joint report then the other driver might admit to 100% fault and you can try to convince your insurance company to contact his insurance company to settle, but you will still be required to pay the deductible and it counts as a claim. If the guy was an ******* and didn't want to do a joint report, then just file a hit and run report with police if you got his license plate.
One time an ******* dent my door and I confronted him and he said he had no time to fill in a joint report because he had to go to work.
I followed him to his work place and then went to the police station and the police told him to come out, the embarrassment by his co-workers knowing the police was looking for him was satisfactory enough for me ! ...LoL
Deal Addict
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Mar 1, 2005
4267 posts
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Toronto
newcal wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 11:47 am
Ok, I'm just annoyed of the myths and misunderstandings out there regarding obligations of Car insurance company when one of their clients causes a 100% fault accident and I am zero% at fault. What are my legal rights in Canada for car/property compensation?

I was recently in a car accident. I was zero at faults. The other person hit my car in broad daylight with lots of witnesses. Driver admitted to 100% fault. In a nutshell, I was minding my own business driving in my own lane when all of sudden the other driver crossed yellow centre line and collided with my car. Insurance of driver causing accident wants to write off my car. I want to refuse and ask them to restore my car.

I always assumed that our social contract we have in our society in Canada is that if I destroy your private personal property, and it is my fault, then oh my golly I am responsible to make it right by restoring your property to its before accident condition. Granted it may be costly no doubt, but that’s fair isn’t it?


So why can’t I ask the other insurance company to rebuild and restore my car? We all carry $500,000 (some have million dollar or more) liability insurance for such a day, right? SO Why doesn’t insurance company step-up to the plate and say: we will fix your car??!! Oh by the way we are so sorry our client was such a disk and wasn’t paying attention and hit your car.

So, if you have a comment or suggestion as how I should proceed with other person’s insurance company please write here. I really appreciate your input and suggestion. I have not signed anything so my options are all open. Should I get a lawyer to fight? My car is a daily commuter, and not a expensive car. And parts are cheap. Car can be fixed. I really love my car and want to have it fixed and continue using it. Thank you.
Just an FYI, different Provinces have different rules for dealing with insurance. Get familiar with what the rules are in you province.

If you want your car back, buy it back from the insurance company and fix it with the settlement they give you.
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Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
2228 posts
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Montreal
EdT586 wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 1:31 pm
You have none. If you done a joint report then the other driver might admit to 100% fault and you can try to convince your insurance company to contact his insurance company to settle, but you will still be required to pay the deductible and it counts as a claim. If the guy was an ******* and didn't want to do a joint report, then just file a hit and run report with police if you got his license plate.
One time an ******* dent my door and I confronted him and he said he had no time to fill in a joint report because he had to go to work.
I followed him to his work place and then went to the police station and the police told him to come out, the embarrassment by his co-workers knowing the police was looking for him was satisfactory enough for me ! ...LoL
I'm surprised police came for a dent, here the cops would tell you to piss off and go contact your own insurance.
Deal Expert
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Mar 18, 2005
17298 posts
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Niagara Falls
EdT586 wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 1:31 pm
You have none. If you done a joint report then the other driver might admit to 100% fault and you can try to convince your insurance company to contact his insurance company to settle, but you will still be required to pay the deductible and it counts as a claim. If the guy was an ******* and didn't want to do a joint report, then just file a hit and run report with police if you got his license plate.
One time an ******* dent my door and I confronted him and he said he had no time to fill in a joint report because he had to go to work.
I followed him to his work place and then went to the police station and the police told him to come out, the embarrassment by his co-workers knowing the police was looking for him was satisfactory enough for me ! ...LoL
Do you work in the insurance industry? What you are saying doesn't really compute, especially considering what the OP has written.

Now I don't work in the industry, so anyone that does, feel free to correct me since I am only going off my own experience.

When I was hit and deemed 100% not at fault, I did not have to pay any deductable at all and it did not affect my insurance at all. I also still have my one free accident forgiveness left on my account. This is worth TD in Ontario. My car was actually hit in Niagara Falls NY.

As for OP, I don't think it's reasonable to ask the insurance company to restore your car. I don't know if you have a right to try and force them to do so but if the car is considered a write-off I don't see why you'd want it fixed anyways.

With the claim amount it would cost to fix that car you'd never be able to sell the vehicle.

How do you even know they could make the car safe again? How are they going to repair the frame and the crumple zones?
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Apr 25, 2013
6480 posts
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jzmtl wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 1:46 pm
I'm surprised police came for a dent, here the cops would tell you to piss off and go contact your own insurance.
I am in Montreal ...so I am "here" as well ! ...LoL
They actually phoned the Maxi's where that a-hole was working and spoke to his manager to tell him to come out ...LoL
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
2228 posts
1132 upvotes
Montreal
EdT586 wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 2:02 pm
I am in Montreal ...so I am "here" as well ! ...LoL
They actually phoned the Maxi's where that a-hole was working and spoke to his manager to tell him to come out ...LoL
Lucky you. My parents were swiped by someone squeezing pass them at end of two lane merging, they called the cops, cop just said "Anybody hurt? No? Then not our problem."
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
14624 posts
4962 upvotes
newcal wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 11:47 am
I always assumed that our social contract we have in our society in Canada is that if I destroy your private personal property, and it is my fault, then oh my golly I am responsible to make it right by restoring your property to its before accident condition. Granted it may be costly no doubt, but that’s fair isn’t it?
The problem lies in that what is damaged may not be worth repairing or may not be able to be repaired (e.g. fire, theft). That's why we allow for replacement of the item at market value. Because a vehicle is an object, it is reasonable to think we can replace it with another vehicle (same make / model). So that's what they are doing when they write it off - they are providing you enough money to replace your vehicle and make you "whole" after everything is said and done.
So why can’t I ask the other insurance company to rebuild and restore my car? We all carry $500,000 (some have million dollar or more) liability insurance for such a day, right? SO Why doesn’t insurance company step-up to the plate and say: we will fix your car??!! Oh by the way we are so sorry our client was such a disk and wasn’t paying attention and hit your car.
Insurance is governed by the rules in your policies and the laws in place within your province. These give the insurance company the right to either replace what was damaged or repair what was damaged - completely their choice. They will typically do what makes the most sense financially.

If you wanted coverage that allowed for the complete repair of your vehicle regardless of the damage caused you would need a different policy and your premiums would be different. Not that I think such a policy exists (as even with the appraised value ones there is a limit to what they pay out), but what you pay would clearly be different. Which makes sense - your 2010 Civic which is worth $5000 could potentially have $15,000 or $20,000 in repairs (or more - imagine if it was in a fire and everything had to be replaced). Therefore your premiums would have to be based on the highest cost of repair to your Civic and you would be paying A LOT more than you do now.
So, if you have a comment or suggestion as how I should proceed with other person’s insurance company please write here. I really appreciate your input and suggestion. I have not signed anything so my options are all open. Should I get a lawyer to fight? My car is a daily commuter, and not a expensive car. And parts are cheap. Car can be fixed. I really love my car and want to have it fixed and continue using it. Thank you.
One option is to take the payout from insurance and repair yourself. Depending on province and how insurance flags the vehicle you will have an inspection to do (that will cost some $$) to make it road worthy. If the damage is not structural you may be able to avoid this inspection, but that is up to insurance.

Another option is to see if they can fix using used parts on your vehicle. This is a possibility and lowers the cost of repair.

If you seek a lawyer you will end up in the negative. Think about what you are seeking (in terms of compensation) then think about whether spending thousands on legal fees will make it worthwhile.


One last note - typically the insurer is allowed to stop your rental car once they make an initial offer. So you cannot just stall indefinitely if you have a rental and want to keep it while you negotiate.


Good luck but remember that you agreed to terms and conditions with your insurance when you accepted your policy and suing them for something that is covered in this agreement would be a poor idea (financially).
Member
User avatar
Nov 26, 2012
292 posts
71 upvotes
Calgary
I'm a little confused... why would you want to fix a car that insurance is deemed a write off? Taking a payout is always better.

1. Even if it's fixed, it won't be the same after.
2. With a collision that much, your car is worth nothing on the resale market.

Take the money and buy another car.
Member
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Feb 24, 2004
313 posts
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chconline wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 4:46 pm
I'm a little confused... why would you want to fix a car that insurance is deemed a write off? Taking a payout is always better.

1. Even if it's fixed, it won't be the same after.
2. With a collision that much, your car is worth nothing on the resale market.

Take the money and buy another car.
^Agreed
It will NEVER be fixed to what it was. Why on earth would u want that!?
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Sep 9, 2012
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Oakville, ON
newcal wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 11:47 am
Ok, I'm just annoyed of the myths and misunderstandings out there regarding obligations of Car insurance company when one of their clients causes a 100% fault accident and I am zero% at fault. What are my legal rights in Canada for car/property compensation? ....
Your situation isn’t covered by the federal laws of Canada. Your answer will vary somewhat by which Province you live in as Insurance is a Provincial matter.

Without knowing where you’re located it’s hard to get into specifics, but generally the goal of the insurance settlement is to make you whole by repairing your vehicle or by providing a fair cash settlement if repairs aren’t feasible. How to approach things to see that you get a fair cash settlement will vary as noted above. And no, they aren’t going to rebuild your vehicle at any cost regardless of which Province you’re in.
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Sep 21, 2011
1117 posts
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EdT586 wrote:
Dec 30th, 2017 1:31 pm
You have none. If you done a joint report then the other driver might admit to 100% fault and you can try to convince your insurance company to contact his insurance company to settle, but you will still be required to pay the deductible and it counts as a claim. If the guy was an ******* and didn't want to do a joint report, then just file a hit and run report with police if you got his license plate.
One time an ******* dent my door and I confronted him and he said he had no time to fill in a joint report because he had to go to work.
I followed him to his work place and then went to the police station and the police told him to come out, the embarrassment by his co-workers knowing the police was looking for him was satisfactory enough for me ! ...LoL
Hahh thats amesome. Co-workers are probably like wtf is he selling drugs, assault, murder lol. Gets the cold shoulder from then on at work lol.
Newbie
Jan 11, 2017
12 posts
21 upvotes
I was informed that regardless of whoever is at fault in an accident in Ontario, it is your own insurance company that repairs all of the damages. So it isnt the other persons insurance company trying to cheap out and lowball you with a settlement, it is your own. I was also told that you can buy back your damaged vehicle from your insurance company by paying them the taxes on whatever the settlement amount was but dont quote me on that.

FYI. I got into a non at fault accident in October. Once the settlement was offered which was about 2 weeks after the accident, they gave me an extra week with the rental to shop around. I had a 2005 civic and was paid out $3800 for it when the damages on my vehicle were estimated to be $6000. I tried to get the car repaired but was denied.
Newbie
Oct 28, 2011
33 posts
16 upvotes
Aurora, Ontario
The main reason that you would like to repair your own car is because the total loss value that insurance paying you is the used car market price. Many of the used car involved in 1 or more accidents. Their quality of the repair is unclear, so for me, I will be more comfortable to repair my owned car, especially I maintain my car very well. If I bought another used car, and the owner didn't maintain it well, the cost will be on me. Consider a 5 year old BMW, the cost to repair it for 5 yr is $15k with 25 repairs. Japanese car certainly is lower, but still cost $1k-$7k depending on previous owner. This does not include engine or transmission failure, and a BMW 3 series engine cost $30k (new), while a Benz AMG V-8 engine cost $120k (new 2017 model). Let's say there is an issue with piston ring, which only visible by high engine oil consumption, then this is neither an issue that justify for engine redo ($2k - $3k for Honda/Toyota), and annoying to add 1L of engine oil monthly ($10/month). Repairing my existing car, however, ensure that I don't own other people's problem, as well as piece of mind. Every repair does affect your work & personal time.

I don't know how insurance's ratebook is design, so I can't comment whether it is consider in the rating, which will indirectly affect the premium for 1 or multiple years.
Sr. Member
Nov 2, 2014
862 posts
205 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
OP, what province?

If in Ontario, review your insurance contract between you and your insurer and you will find you answer there.

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