Car Accident: Who’s Liable?

This article is an advertorial brought to you by le Groupement des assureurs automobile

Auto insurance compensation rules aren’t always well understood. Here’s how they actually work.

It’s Your Insurer that Establishes your Liability in a Collision

Even if the police come to the scene of an accident, they’re not the ones that establish your liability. Rather, it’s your insurer using the Direct Compensation Agreement (DCA). The DCA, among other things, illustrates most accident scenarios by allocating the level of liability for each driver (0%, 50% or 100%).

For example, you rear end the car ahead of you when the driver suddenly brakes. According to the DCA, you’re the one at fault for the collision (the Highway Safety Code states that every driver must keep a safe distance with the car in front).

Even if the Other Driver is at Fault for the Collision, You’ll be Compensated by your Own Insurer

Your insurer uses the DCA to establish your compensation amount. The Agreement is used by all auto insurers and the aim is to simplify claims settlement. As well as illustrating the various accident scenarios, it also provides for each driver to be compensated directly by his insurer. Insurers therefore don’t exercise their right of subrogation, whereby the party at-fault reimburses the party not at-fault.

Your Level of Liability Impacts your Compensation

If you’re liable, you’ll be compensated if your insurance policy covers the collision. You must then pay a deductible.

If you’re not liable, you’ll be compensated even if your insurance policy doesn’t cover the collision. You won’t have to pay a deductible

To find out more, go to Groupement des assureurs automobiles’ web site at

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