‘Liability’ is just a fancy word for ‘who is at fault’ or ‘who is to blame’. We have a fault-based legal system in Canada. This means that if you are injured in an accident, you have to show it is someone else’s fault before you can be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Sometimes an injury isn’t anyone’s fault. If you are hit by lightening it is, what the law calls, ‘an act of God’. This means it was no one’s fault. No one caused the lightening to hit you. So even if you are injured, there is no one to sue, because no one is at fault. It was just very bad luck.
It is also just bad luck if you cause your own injury. In Canada you cannot sue yourself (including your insurance company) if you cause your own injury. For example, let’s say you are doing some home repairs and you accidentally release the battery from your new cordless screwdriver, and it falls on your foot and breaks your toe (hey, it happens). In this case your broken foot is your own fault and you cannot sue yourself, so you just have to make the best of it.
On the other hand, if you take out that brand new stepladder you just bought at the hardware store and, as you are reaching up to paint the ceiling, one of the steps breaks off and you fall and hurt yourself – that is not your fault. That is the fault of the manufacturer of the ladder and you have the right to be compensated.
While liability sounds like a simple concept, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether someone else might be responsible for your accident or even who might be responsible. We have a lot of experience resolving claims with complex liability issues and can help you get compensation for your injuries in cases where liability may not be obvious or easy to prove.
Even if you are injured in circumstances where no one is to blame you should still contact us because there are different ‘no-fault’ benefits that may be available to you, such as accident benefits for a car accident or long-term disability benefits if you cannot work.