Expertises connexes

When an accident occurs (excluding work related accidents), the legal concept of civil liability identifies three factors that are pivotal in determining whether the victim is entitled to compensation: the damage to the victim, the fault committed by the author and the link between the fault and the damages.

The concept of damage in Quebec law is very broad and includes corporal damages (injuries), damages to property (clothing, residence, other possessions) and moral damages (psychological). The assessment of such damages generally requires the help of professionals (doctors, psychologists and other health professionals) and it will be the court prerogative to assert on the given damages. Generally, the compensation (damages) can only equal the damage sustained and cannot be greater.

However, it is not sufficient to have suffered damages to obtain compensation, the law generally requires that a person commits a fault (even by negligence) in order to hold it liable for damages. The fault can be very different depending on the circumstances. For example, a manufacturer of goods must ensure that they are not dangerous or that the instructions and warnings provided with the goods are clear and sufficient.

The causal connection between the fault and the damage suffered is also of great importance. Indeed, the damage must have been a direct, logical and immediate consequence of the fault.

For example, the victim suffered a serious injury, he breaks a leg on a ski slope. He could seek compensation if the slopes were very poorly maintained or if it was not indicated that the slope was for skiers of “expert” level. However, the victim would be less likely to receive compensation if, despite a clear indication, he went on a track for “expert” skiers despite being a beginner. He would also be less likely to be compensated if he had failed to maintain his ski equipment properly or if he had not worn his ski googles. He then would have participated in his own accident.

However, the various forms of civil liability are complex and recourse to the judicial system is often required. For accidents of all types, we know your rights and the appropriate legal proceedings to obtain compensation or avoid paying unjustified amounts.