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Hit by a Distracted Driver in Calgary? Understanding Your Legal Options


Motorist texting while driving.

Sadly, there is always a possibility of being struck by a distracted driver, even if you follow safe driving practices. Car accidents caused by distracted driving have become an alarming issue on the roads of Calgary, Alberta. According to one report, there were 21,612 convictions linked to distracted driving in 2020.

If you are the victim of a careless driver, you deserve fair compensation for your losses. But what is the right way to go about your legal claim? At Grover Law Firm, our team can help you understand the legal avenues available to you. Book an appointment today to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers.

The Impact of Distracted Driving in Calgary, Alberta

Distracted driving is a severe offence in Calgary. If caught engaging in distracted behaviour, drivers may face penalties such as:

  • A $300 fine and 3 demerit points under Alberta’sTraffic Safety Act
  • Up to 10 years in prison if death or injury is caused
  • License suspension if a driver’s record has too many demerit points accumulated

These penalties aim to deter drivers from endangering themselves and others on the road. The severity of the consequences depends on the specific circumstances of the incident and whether it resulted in an accident causing injury or property damage.

Despite such legal consequences, many individuals still engage in risky behaviours. In fact, statistics show that 47 percent of Canadians admit to sending messages on a cell phone while behind the wheel. Texting is not the only dangerous behind-the-wheel behaviour, however. 

Frequent forms of distracted driving include:

  • Texting or using a smartphone while driving
  • Talking on a handheld cell phone device
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Adjusting the radio or GPS navigation system (even if you are using hands-free mode)
  • Grooming or applying makeup
  • Reading, writing, or emailing
  • Clipping nails or flossing teeth
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Reaching for objects within the vehicle
  • Watching videos or using electronic devices not related to driving

If another driver’s disregard for safety has led to your injury, you have the right to seek legal compensation for your damages. But what exactly are your legal options? What steps can you take to seek justice and compensation?

Seeking Justice After Being Hit by a Distracted Driver

As a victim injured or suffering property loss due to a distracted driver in Calgary, you have two primary legal options. You can either pursue a civil lawsuit against the party who is at fault or negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

Let’s explore each option in detail.

The advantages of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit

Pursuing legal action through a civil lawsuit allows you to seek full compensation for your losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, you have more control over the legal process, which is useful if you hire a legal team to advocate for your rights. 

In some cases, pursuing a lawsuit may result in a higher settlement offer from the insurance company. The idea of going to trial and leaving the decision up to a jury can be worrying for insurance companies. 

A trial introduces an element of unpredictability and risk into the equation. An insurer might prefer to settle for a higher amount rather than risk losing in court and paying even more.

Some factors you should consider before pursuing a lawsuit are:

  • Lawsuits can be time-consuming. They may require multiple court appearances, hearings, and legal proceedings.
  • Pursuing a lawsuit can be expensive. You may accrue significant court costs, expert witness fees, and other legal expenses.
  • The outcome of a lawsuit is uncertain. There is always the risk of losing the lawsuit, which would result in no compensation for your injuries and losses.

Why negotiate a settlement with the insurance company

In general, the settlement process begins by filing a complaint with the other driver’s insurer. After an investigation, the insurer will make a settlement offer. 

However, insurers typically offer settlements that are less than what the case is actually worth. If you refuse an unfair settlement, your legal team may begin the negotiation process. 

Several advantages of negotiating a settlement are:

  • Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company may result in a quicker resolution compared to that of a lawsuit
  • Negotiations involve direct communication between your legal representative and the insurer, allowing for a streamlined exchange of offers and counteroffers without the need for formal court filings or hearings
  • Negotiating insurance claims may involve fewer legal expenses than a lawsuit
  • Settlement agreement terms can be tailored to meet both parties’ needs and interests and allow for creative solutions and compromises

Of course, there are several factors you must carefully consider before choosing to negotiate a settlement:

  • Limited compensation: Insurance policies often limit the compensation an insurer pays out. The settlement amount you are offered may not fully cover your damages. In the Alberta Court of Justice Civil Division, you can sue for an amount of up to $100,000 plus interest and costs. You can pursue more in the Court of King’s Bench.
  • Less control: You have less control over the outcome of the settlement process. Typically, the insurance company determines the final settlement amount.
  • Potential for dispute: The insurance company may dispute your claim or offer a low settlement amount. An unfair settlement offer may require further negotiation or legal action.

At Grover Law Firm, we can assess your case, explain the pros and cons of each option, and help you make an informed decision based on your circumstances. 

Determining Your Compensation: What You Need to Know

Deciding which route to justice you will pursue is not the only choice you must make. Depending on the nature of your car accident, you may be eligible to pursue various compensatory damages.

Damages are the economic and non-economic losses you sustained after a car collision. The following are examples of damages you may be entitled to receive.

Out-of-pocket expenses

Out-of-pocket expenses are direct costs incurred as a result of the car accident and may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Repairs or replacement costs for your vehicle
  • Transportation expenses related to travel for medical appointments
  • Miscellaneous expenses related to the accident

Cost of medical treatment

Compensation for medical expenses encompasses present and anticipated future medical costs for injuries sustained in the accident. 

Compensation for medical costs may cover the following and more:

  • Costs of consultations, therapy, and follow-up healthcare appointments 
  • Costs for prosthetics or other assistive devices
  • Injury-related modifications to the lifestyle of the injured person for his or her well-being

Other damages you may pursue include: 

  • Lost wages and lost employee benefits
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Legal costs
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Of course, the circumstances of your accident determine which damages you can choose to pursue. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can assess your case carefully and identify the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive.

Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Distracted Driver in Calgary

Regardless of the legal avenue you pursue, there are steps you can take to promote the success of your compensation claim:

  • Seeking medical attention right away – even if you feel okay initially, some injuries may not be immediately apparent
  • Contact the police to report the accident and have them document the scene
  • Exchange information with the other driver, including insurance details and license plate numbers
  • Take photos of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and any visible injuries
  • Gather contact information from witnesses who saw the incident unfold
  • Keep detailed records of all medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses related to the accident
  • Consider consulting a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling distracted driving cases

Explore Your Legal Options With the Help of Our Qualified Lawyers

Your case is unique, and its intricacies can significantly impact your legal options. That is why you should seek guidance from a qualified lawyer who understands personal injury law. 

At Grover Law Firm, we deal with car accident cases every day, so we can offer personalized advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We understand the devastating impact distracted driving accidents can have on individuals and their families. Thus, we are committed to providing skilled legal representation for clients pursuing legal action against distracted drivers. 

If a negligent driver hits you, our lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and develop a robust strategy for pursuing compensation. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our qualified lawyers to learn more about your legal options.


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