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Who can be sued for financial recovery after car accidents?

Following serious injuries or deaths in crashes on Ontario roads, financial relief may be sought through the civil justice system. Personal injury or wrongful death claims can be filed, regardless of the outcomes of any criminal proceedings. For civil lawsuits to be successful, negligence must be established on the part of the person or entity that is named as the defendant. Not all such claims following car accidents are filed against drivers.

If a drunk driver caused the crash, a restaurant or bar might be held responsible for supplying alcohol to an already intoxicated driver. If an auto defect caused the accident, the vehicle manufacturer and others in the supply chain might be liable. The same applies to other defects or malfunctions such as blown tires, faulty airbags or failing brakes, in which cases manufacturers may be named as defendants.

When a traffic light malfunctions or a pothole leads to an accident, the municipality might be at fault. When the driver who is deemed responsible is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be named as an additional defendant. Examples of such circumstances could include an employee causing a crash while driving a company vehicle, or a teenager driving his or her parent's car. 

Victims of car accidents in Ontario who have questions about pursuing recovery of damages can get the answers from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Legal counsel can assess the circumstances of the crash and help with proving negligence. Furthermore, with careful examination of all the facts, the lawyer can determine the parties or entities that could be named as defendants, and then provide guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.

Source: FindLaw Canada, "Car accident: Overview", Accessed on March 9, 2018

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