Whether you are responsible for or the victim of an incident causing bodily injury or property damage, it is important to understand what liability insurance is.
In this article, our personal injury lawyers will help you understand this type of insurance.
Civil liability insurance overview
Civil liability insurance protects you and the people living in your household against personal injury and property damage that you may unintentionally cause to someone else or their property. It is usually included in your home insurance policy and is also included in your automobile insurance if you have one.
More specifically, this insurance covers you for damages involving your civil liability and which lead to claims and even legal proceedings, whether they occur in Canada or elsewhere in the world. It protects you from the financial consequences of your actions by compensating the person who has suffered the consequences of your actions.
Interestingly, if you are sued for damages covered by your liability insurance policy, it is up to your insurer to defend you in court at their expense.
Examples of damages covered by liability insurance
Your insurance policy will indicate the situations covered by your liability insurance.
That said, most liability insurance policies will cover you if:
- Your dog bites a person and causes personal injury
- A fire breaks out in your apartment and the fire causes extensive damage to the neighbouring units
- Your child breaks a window in the neighbor’s house while playing baseball in your yard
- You injure an opponent with a head shot during a friendly field hockey game
- A young child is injured while in your care
Exceptions and obligations
Be aware that injuries to you or your family members are not covered by your liability insurance policy. The same applies to injuries and damages caused by intentional acts or as a result of a violation of criminal laws.
Be transparent with your insurer when negotiating your liability insurance policy, even if it means increasing the cost of your coverage. For example, if you operate a business from your home as a self-employed person and you host many people in your home, you will need to disclose this to your insurer. And if you get a dog, you need to let your insurer know.
Liability protection: how much damage should you insure?
When you are covered by basic liability insurance, the amount of your coverage is usually around one million dollars.
While this may seem like an impressive amount, in many situations, such as if you are a tenant, it may not be enough. Imagine being the cause of water damage that causes extensive property damage in your apartment building. The cost of the work can increase very quickly and the landlord and other tenants could even sue you, which also increases the bill.
It is therefore recommended that you choose a liability insurance policy with a coverage amount that is based on your lifestyle. Many people today are advised to have at least $2 million in liability coverage.
What happens if you are sued
When you are sued for a situation that is covered by your liability insurance, your insurer has the obligation to defend you in court. This means that your insurer must pay for the lawyer who represents you, as well as other court costs.
If the courts determine that you must pay money to repair the damage you caused, your insurer will pay the money directly to the person who filed the lawsuit against you.
However, if the amount of damage you caused is more than the maximum coverage in your policy, you will have to pay the difference. The insurer will still pay for your legal fees, court costs and interest.
Liability insurance from the victim’s perspective
If you are the victim of a situation that engages the civil liability of an individual, or even an organization, an institution or a municipality, you will have to prove certain points to their insurer to be compensated:
- That the insured was negligent
- That you have suffered damages
- That the damage suffered was a direct result of the incident for which the insured is liable
Why seek the help of a personal injury lawyer?
Since insurance claims processes can be very complex, it is prudent to prepare your strategy with the help of a lawyer who works for a law firm with extensive expertise in personal injury. A lawyer can help you assert and respect your rights with the insurer, obtaining sufficient financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.
A lawyer can also assess your situation and make recommendations on the feasibility and chances of success of a legal action. And if you choose to sue, a lawyer will help you formulate a claim that takes into account all the damages you have suffered, based on the applicable legal rules and jurisprudence.
MedLegal helps you assert your rights following a personal injury
In short, liability insurance is protection against bodily injury and property damage that you may unintentionally cause to an individual or their property. It will compensate the victims of your actions that engage your civil liability.
We invite you to contact us if you have suffered an injury as a result of a civil fault that engages the civil liability of a person or organization. We offer a legal service entirely dedicated to personal injury and we are familiar with this type of legal action.
And if you are interested in the field of law and justice, please visit the blog section of our website!