Who can recover compensation for traffic accident injuries? Under which circumstances is it worthwhile to attempt to recover compensation?
In a single vehicle accident on the Trans Canada Highway 30 kilometers south of St. John’s, the passenger was killed and the driver went to hospital with serious injuries. News reports state that the deceased passenger was 18 years old.
For a single vehicle accident to occur with such devastating consequences certainly suggests negligence on the part of the driver. However, under the laws of Newfoundland and Labrador as they presently exist, and assuming the deceased had no dependents, the damages obtainable by him would be very low. This situation is contrary to civilized norms of fair compensation, and it is something that we are planning to challenge this year before the Supreme Court in the context of the Breast Cancer Testing Class Action. Fatal accident claimants may wish to stay tuned and see whether the law is changed in their favor.
In an accident near Flatrock this summer, two cars collided head on at a sharp turn at around 8 AM. Three people were taken to hospital.
In this situation, somebody was negligent, and perhaps the negligence is shared between both drivers. News reports suggest that the passenger of one car was treated in hospital for injuries including broken bones. Ordinarily, the passenger would not be considered negligent and would have a claim for the full value of his or her injuries, whether against the driver of the car in which he or she was a passenger, or against the driver of the other striking vehicle.
The news services took extensive video footage of the accident scene, which is always a good idea.
The teaching point here is that consumers who are involved in accidents need to know their rights. The laws regarding compensation are not set in stone, and may be subject to change. Consumers should consult a lawyer who is experienced in these complicated laws.