Imagine you are on a road trip outside the province when you are unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident. You might be aware of how to proceed if you were in Nova Scotia, but what do you do in this situation?
Fortunately, Nova Scotians can receive compensation for motor vehicle accidents that happen out of the province. There are two main ways that Nova Scotians can receive compensation for their injuries: Section D Benefits and filing a car accident claim outside of Nova Scotia.
Two Ways to Receive Compensation for Out of Province Car Accidents
1. Section D Benefits
Section D claims are made through your own insurance company. Your insurance company will take the place of the other driver in an action, and this will proceed similarly to any claim against a driver in Nova Scotia; you come to an agreement or will take the claim to court.
Once you have come to an agreement, or the case has been decided in court, your insurance company will have the opportunity to make a claim against the other driver.
When making a Section D claim, it is important to recognize that the amount you can claim is limited in Nova Scotia. There are two possible limits to your claim, and the lowest limit will be applicable. These limits are either the minimum limit for motor vehicle liability in the location you were injured, or the minimum limit established in Nova Scotia.
The minimum limit in another jurisdiction will likely be found in a piece of legislation. In Nova Scotia, the minimum limit is found in the Insurance Act at section 125(1), which notes the limit of $500,000 exclusive of interest and costs.
2. Filing A Car Accident Claim
When filing a claim outside of Nova Scotia, you should be aware that you need to follow the laws of that location. These could include highway traffic acts, rules used for determination of fault, and rules to determine who was responsible for an accident.
If your accident happened in Ontario, you will not be using the same laws that you might have used if your accident happened in Nova Scotia.
In the next section, things that you should consider when filing an out of province claim will be addressed.
What to Consider When Filing a Car Accident Claim Outside of Nova Scotia?
Filing a claim starts when you deliver notice to another party that you have a claim against them. For car accidents, you would generally be delivering notice to the driver’s insurance company.
There are many things you need to consider when filing an accident claim outside of Nova Scotia. Several of the important things to consider include service outside of Nova Scotia, limitation periods, and caps on injuries.
When filing a claim outside of Nova Scotia you should be aware that claims that might be made in Nova Scotia may not work in other provinces. You should be aware that different rules will apply in other provinces. This can include the laws of the province, including highway traffic acts, as well as previous decisions which have been made in that province’s courts.
Different provinces may have different rules regarding whether a driver was at fault or how responsible they were for the accident.
You should also be aware that if you are taking your claim to court, that you may be required to travel. Which court will have jurisdiction over a matter will be determined by a number of factors including the convenience to parties and the laws that are in question. If another province has jurisdiction over the matter, you may need to go there.
Service is necessary to start a legal proceeding; it is the delivery of important legal documents to another party. If you want to make a claim, service is necessary. When filing a car accident claim outside of Nova Scotia, you should consider if you will be able to serve the other party or if you will need help.
There are many ways that another party can be served including in-hand delivery or mailing documents to an address. When you have difficulty locating the other party, you can use something called substituted service, which allows for more creative methods of service.
Service can be difficult if you do not have the contact information of the other driver or their insurer. This is often made more difficult when you are trying to provide service to another province.
Limitation periods are essentially a limited time frame which you have to exercise your legal rights. If you do not start a claim in court before a limitation period is over, you will have lost your chance to bring it at all.
In most provinces you have a two-year period during which to bring your car accident claim, but there may be factors that modify this period. It is important to know the limitation period for the location where your accident happened, so you are aware of how long you have to file your claim.
Injury Caps and Deductible
You may be aware that Nova Scotia has a minor injury cap. This means that the amount a person can recover for certain injuries, including whiplash, is limited in Nova Scotia. Similarly, other provinces such as Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have injury caps.
Other jurisdictions, such as Newfoundland and Labrador, may have deductibles. In Newfoundland, there is a $5,000 deductible for any amounts that can be awarded for injuries suffered in a car accident. This means that if you receive an assessment of $20,000 for general damages in Newfoundland, you will only be awarded $15,000.
It is important to be aware of injury caps and deductibles, so you know how much your claim is worth. If the province you want to claim in has a deductible, you may want to proceed by settlement rather than through the court system.
Get Support for Your Personal Injury Claim
Here at NOVA Injury Law, we will always put our clients first. We know car accidents can be life-changing event that not only affects a person’s physical health but can also have an impact on their emotional and mental well-being as they try to adapt to a new lifestyle. Our mission is to ensure you have the resources and support you need to live a better life and have peace of mind about your financial status.
You can learn more about how we handle car accident claims here.
If you are in need of legal advice or representation for your personal injury claim and are
located in the Nova Scotia area, our personal injury lawyers are here to help. We also serve other areas of Atlantic Canada, including Prince Edward Island. Contact us today and tell us more about your claim – we are here to help!