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Proving a claim of negligence in Canada

There have been 1.6 million auto accidents in Canada since the year 2000. According to the statistics, that adds up to close to 400 accidents every day. While many of these cases may involve single-vehicle collisions, others result in lawsuits and criminal charges. If you or a loved one has been hit, it's important to know how you can make a claim.

One of the most common claims is for negligence. Negligence can include things like speeding, looking away from the road or driving erratically. Whatever the reason is, negligence can be enough to make a claim and to be compensated for your injuries.

In general, drivers have the responsibility of ensuring that their actions don't put others in harm's way. If they do cause injuries to others, then it's possible to hold them accountable and to seek compensation. For example, negligent driving can include disobeying traffic signals, illegally passing other drivers or bicyclists or driving while intoxicated.

If you want to prove a negligence claim, you'll need to show that you were owed a duty of care by the other driver. What that means is that the other driver must have a duty to your safety in some way. For instance, if you were both on the road, both of you should have been looking for each other to avoid an accident. You'll also need to show that the other driver didn't fulfill that duty of care, that you suffered damages, which usually refer to monetary damages, and that the damages you've had to suffer are a result of the other person's behavior.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Car accident basics," accessed March 25, 2016

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