Road conditions contribute to 12% of traffic fatalities and injuries in Canada every year. In fact, Canadian doctors have been calling for improved measures when it comes to winter road safety. Every week, at least two dozen Canadians get into a motor vehicle accident and unfortunately, do not survive their injuries. Canada also has twice as many death-related incidents than other snowy countries like Sweden.
When the winter weather is nasty and road conditions become dangerous in the Great White North, who’s at fault?
Car Accidents In Dangerous Winter Weather: Who’s At Fault?
If you are a driver in the province of Ontario, you are likely well aware of the fact that Ontario has a no-fault determination scheme, which has been in place since the 90s.
No-fault insurance means that your insurance company will pay your claim – it does not mean there is no fault at all. This is a common misunderstanding. Someone is still determined to be at-fault, whether fully or partially. If you are deemed more than 25% at fault, your premiums will be adjusted accordingly.
But, how does winter weather factor in when it comes to assigning fault?
The Insurance Act and the Fault Determination Rules determine who is at fault in all car accidents. The most important part to note is that these rules are applied regardless of weather conditions and visibility.
In other words, even if you got into a car accident due to the awful winter road conditions, it simply doesn’t matter. Your insurance company will proceed to assign fault based on the above Fault Determination Rules.
Still, some people find that their unique experience might not agree with how the insurance companies assign fault. To settle the dispute, you can seek legal advice.
It is important to take pictures of the scene and to provide detailed (and accurate) statements. This can help insurance companies to assign the correct accountability from the beginning.
The Bottom Line
While there is a no-fault determination scheme in Ontario, a fault is still assigned. According to the Fault Determination Rules, winter conditions do not factor into this determination scheme when it comes to assigning fault.