Cochrane Personal Injury Lawyer

Alberta Car Accident Settlements

Average Car Accident Settlements Payout in Alberta

If you were injured in a car accident and you weren’t at fault for the accident, then the driver who is at fault is responsible for paying your damages and losses. Usually, the driver’s insurance company takes care of the damages.

Unfortunately, auto insurance companies aren’t always in a hurry to do the right thing, and it can take a long time to come to an agreement about how much they really owe. They’ll mount a defense: attempting to shift as much blame as possible onto your shoulders, attempting to absolve their driver of negligence, or attempting to downplay your injuries and suffering so that they pay less, or even pay nothing at all.

That’s where your Alberta personal injury lawyer comes in. We help you negotiate a fair settlement on your car accident claim.

How long does it take to settle a car accident settlement in Alberta?

It can take up to 18 months. Some of that time is spent on your recovery. We don’t try to settle claims until you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is because we need to know exactly how much your medical bills are going to cost, and we need to get a reasonable approximation of what your long-term care needs will look like.

If your case goes to trial it can take up to 24 months for your case to reach a resolution. 

We urge you to get a personal injury lawyer involved as early as possible. The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the sooner you’re likely to reach a fair settlement.  If you involve a lawyer early enough you can even get them to file your claim with the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t have to deal with the adjuster. This ensures you don’t make any verbal mistakes while talking to the adjuster, and it ensures you don’t sign anything you shouldn’t sign. 

Read More: How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Canada?

What is the average car accident settlement payout in Alberta for injuries?

The average car accident settlement in Alberta is around $50,000. These would be for the most common injuries in a car accident, rather than for the catastrophic, life-altering injuries that can come with a major car or truck accident. Many of those accidents can settle for $5oo,ooo, or even more. We’ve even seen some catastrophic injury cases that have settled for over a million dollars. 

A more useful question would be to determine what your car accident settlement should look like. We can’t do that until we meet with you and discuss the specifics of your case. 

How are car accident settlements calculated?

First, we tally up your economic losses. These are your medical bills and lost wages. In a catastrophic injury case, this could also include estimations of future care and your loss of earning capacity. It can also cover miscellaneous expenses, such as equipment you now need or services you now need as a result of your accident.

Next, we determine your pain and suffering damages, which are added to your economic losses to create a final settlement amount.

How are pain and suffering damages calculated?

It’s quite difficult to put an objective number on suffering. Pain is fairly subjective. Yet the law recognizes that pain is real and that people deserve to be compensated for it. In addition, the law recognizes that these injuries are often life-altering. Thus, to calculate pain and suffering the courts often look at the extent to which the person’s life has changed.

To this end, we might ask a series of questions.

  • Has your physical ability to perform certain tasks been diminished or eliminated?
  • Have you lost the ability to work, or at least the ability to work in the career you had before?
  • Have you lost the ability to enjoy hobbies or recreational activities that were once a regular part of your life?
  • Are you suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD? 
  • Has your social life suffered as the result of the accident?
  • Have you been permanently scarred and disfigured? 

The more an injury has changed your life, the more of a pain and suffering award you are likely to receive. 

In Alberta, these awards are capped. You can only get $370,000 for major injuries. Minor injuries, classified legally as soft tissue injuries, can only get $5296.

Your personal injury lawyer will work hard to get you the largest pain and suffering award possible.

When is the right time to settle your motor vehicle claim?

The claim can’t generally be settled until you reach maximum medical improvement. Once that happens your lawyer will enter into settlement conferences. We often use an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process where we go in with a mediator. We may also use a Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) which takes place with a judge in a private setting.

The case may settle at any time before a jury receives a verdict, even if a trial has started. In general, we try not to let cases go to trial at all. Trials are an uncertain outcome. Both sides know the range of what the case is worth. Settling the case is usually the smarter call.

Note that you don’t have to wait even a minute to get a lawyer involved in your case. You can call one as soon as you’re medically capable of doing so, and should. 

What is the process of settling a motor vehicle claim in Alberta?

There will be a lot of back and forth conversation and offers between your side and the defendant’s side. Eventually, an offer will be made. Your lawyer will present you with the offer and you decide whether to accept.

Your lawyer will also advise you as to whether or not that offer is a fair one. 

Read More: Car Accident Claims Dos and Don’ts

What happens when you don’t accept a settlement offer in Alberta?

Negotiations continue. Eventually, it may reach an impasse and the case may enter into litigation. Sometimes both sides will eventually reach an agreement. 

What happens when a case goes to trial in Alberta?

A court date will be scheduled. Your lawyer and the defense lawyer will start making pre-trial motions. Each side may ask the judge to decide the case based on the facts. If the judge decides not to do that, both sides will present their case before the jury.

In a trial, the litigant may not get anything at all. They may get far more than they would have gotten in the settlement, or they may get far less. Going to trial is always a risk. Work with a lawyer who is an experienced litigator to make your chances all the higher. 

Need help with your Alberta personal injury case?

Our team of experienced and caring personal injury lawyers has a long track record of winning personal injury cases. Meeting with us is risk-free. 

We can tell you whether you have a strong case, can help you determine the next steps, and can deal with insurance adjusters and other individuals on your behalf. We’ve helped many residents in Cochrane and throughout Alberta do just that. 

Contact us to schedule your initial consultation today. 

Call (403) 237-9777 to get started. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the average settlement for car accident in Canada?

The most frequent tort claim in Ontario is for pain and suffering, and the average payment is $120,000 in this case.

What to do if someone sues you for a car accident in Alberta?

If this occurs, the best course of action is to consult with a vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible to guide you through the legal issues you will soon be confronted with. Even if someone decides to sue your insurance provider instead, it is still wise to consult a lawyer.

Can you sue for pain and suffering in Alberta?

If you were hurt in an accident and it wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to financial support for your medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more.

How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Alberta?

The settlement takes around 6-9 months after starting your case. However, it isn’t possible to change the compensation money once you reach the maximum medical improvement.



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