Experiencing a motor vehicle accident is always distressing, and the situation becomes more complex when it occurs outside your home province. Deciding where to seek legal action for compensation can be confusing, especially when it comes to determining whether to sue in Ontario or the place where the accident happened.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s Club Resorts Ltd v Van Breda decision in March of 2012 aimed to clarify this issue, setting a precedent for subsequent Ontario court rulings. In this case, Van Breda established a standard for determining jurisdiction, emphasizing the need for a 'real and substantial connection.' It outlined four factors that, if present, could establish a court's jurisdiction over a matter. These factors include the defendant's residency or business operations in the province, the occurrence of the tort in the province, and contracts related to the dispute made in the province.
If a plaintiff can establish these factors, they are likely to establish jurisdiction in their residing province for legal action. However, proving these connecting factors rests on the plaintiff, and the defendant can challenge the presumption of jurisdiction.
Furthermore, if you have insurance coverage in Ontario, you can claim benefits through your Ontario-based accident benefits insurance provider regardless of where the accident occurred. Your Ontario car insurance generally extends coverage throughout Canada and the U.S., offering no-fault benefits for accidents in the U.S. under the Standard Ontario Motor Vehicle Policy.
In case of an accident outside Ontario, it is crucial to take similar steps as you would in Ontario:
- Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible.
- Exchange information with the other driver involved.
- Report the accident to the relevant authorities.
- Seek medical attention promptly.
- Contact an experienced lawyer to understand your legal options.
- Refrain from providing extensive statements to insurance companies without legal advice.
At JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P, we understand the complexities surrounding motor vehicle accidents occurring outside Ontario. Navigating jurisdictional nuances, understanding insurance coverage, and seeking rightful compensation can be daunting.
If you find yourself in such a situation, our dedicated team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P is here to guide you through the process, advocating for your rights and helping you rebuild.