Case Commentary – Injured Maintaining Your Car? You Can Claim Accident Benefits

A recent summary judgment decision confirms that a person is allowed to claim accident benefits insurance if they are injured while performing regular maintenance on their vehicle.

Injuries sustained in the use and operation of a vehicle

In an earlier post, we discussed Dittmann v. Aviva Insurance Company of Canada, in which the claimant was severely burned buying coffee at a drive-through. The court found that her injuries occurred as the result of the regular “use and operation” of a motor vehicle, and therefore she was eligible to claim accident benefits through her motor vehicle insurance.

Car maintenance is considered part of regular use and operation

In Davis v. Aviva Canada Inc., the claimant was injured when the hood of her car collapsed while she was topping up her windshield wiper fluid. She was engaged in regular maintenance, and did not intend to drive anywhere. She claimed accident benefits but was denied; her insurer took the position that the injury was not sustained in the “use and operation” of a motor vehicle.

The court found in favour of the plaintiff, confirming that there is no requirement that a claimant be engaged in, “active use of a vehicle” in order to be eligible to claim accident benefits. Routine maintenance, including checking and topping up fluid levels, is part of the, “ordinary and well known activities to which automobiles are put.”

Toronto personal injury lawyers for accident benefit disputes

Vehicle maintenance and repairs can be risky, but your accident benefits insurance should cover you in the event of an accident or injury. At Derfel Injury Law, we offer full service assistance to anyone seeking accident benefits after a serious injury, whether it occurred on the road, or while you changed flat tire in your driveway.

With an experienced legal team handling communications with your insurer and moving your claim forward, you can focus on recovery. Contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment. We can meet with clients in Toronto.