By: Kimball Law
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No-Fault Insurance in Nova Scotia
When you are injured in a car crash or truck accident in Halifax or elsewhere in Nova Scotia, you might immediately begin thinking about how you can hold the responsible driver accountable.
Does Nova Scotia have No-Fault Insurance? Nova Scotia uses a “no-fault” insurance system. This means that your insurance company will pay for vehicle damage no matter who was at fault. They and the other driver’s insurance company may still determine the at-fault driver after paying your vehicle damage claim.
Motor vehicle collisions often occur because of another driver’s negligence, and it might seem strange to learn that Nova Scotia uses a “no-fault” insurance system. However, we want to make clear that a no-fault insurance system does not mean that the government does not recognize anyone as being at fault for the collision.
Rather, a no-fault insurance system is simply one kind of auto insurance system where the idea of “no-fault” only determines how an auto insurance claim for vehicle damage gets paid out. It also means your insurance company can reimburse you for expenses like ambulance bills and physiotherapy, and provide some wage replacement benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. These are called accident benefits or Section B benefits.
We will tell you more about the no-fault insurance in Nova Scotia, but we also want to emphasize how important it is to seek advice from a Halifax injury lawyer if you got hurt in a crash. One of the experienced Nova Scotia personal injury and insurance lawyers at our firm can discuss your options for seeking compensation.
How a No-Fault Insurance System Works
The no-fault insurance system in Nova Scotia does not mean that an at-fault driver does not bear any responsibility for your injuries or damages in an accident. Rather, it means that you go through your own auto insurance company when you file a claim for compensation for damage to your vehicle. This is known as a first-party claim.
Which Insurance Company Do You File Claims With?
While some places require drivers to file third-party vehicle damage claims—or those where the injured party files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company—Nova Scotia requires drivers to file vehicle damage claims with their own insurers.
This streamlines the process for drivers, who no longer have to go through the claims process with an unfamiliar insurance company. Drivers now deal directly with their own insurer for vehicle damage claims, and for short-term medical and wage replacement benefits, all through the same process.
As the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS) explains, one major component of the no-fault insurance system is that drivers must claim for Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD) coverage, and can obtain compensation for damage to their vehicle through this now-mandatory part of their auto insurance policy. DCPD coverage provides a motorist with compensation when she or he is not at fault for the crash. Fault will still be determined in the crash, and as long as the driver filing the claim is not at fault, then the DCPD part of the policy will provide compensation for their vehicle damage.
Receiving Property Damage Compensation if Determined to be “At Fault”
Otherwise, if you are determined to be at fault, you would be eligible to receive compensation for vehicle damage from your insurance company through your collision or all perils coverage.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Nova Scotia
Since 2013, all drivers in Nova Scotia have been required to have DCPD coverage. It is important to understand, however, that having DCPD coverage does not prevent an injured person from filing a lawsuit to sue for compensation for injuries caused by a car accident.
Receiving Compensation for Injuries
The existence of a no-fault insurance system does not affect a person’s ability to file a car accident lawsuit for personal injury compensation when another party is at fault for the crash. Although you will seek insurance compensation through your own insurance company and policy for your vehicle damage claim and for short-term benefits, filing a lawsuit is different. Rather than going through an insurance company, you would begin the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in court with the help of a Nova Scotia car accident lawyer.