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Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but we are today. The Ontario government has done it again. To further add to all the reductions in accident benefits that have been made over the last while, they announced even more changes last Thursday. These changes, in our opinion negatively impact Ontario drivers.
The changes are known as “The Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Rates Act” and it was passed last week. What’s most disturbing in this Act is the removal of the right of motorists to sue an insurance company after they have been denied their claim. This new Act , in our opinion does not favour Ontario drivers and although it says it is designed to benefit drivers, removing the right to sue , will leave many Ontario claimants out of luck and in a potentially bad situation , where they are injured but the insurance company is not going to cover their injuries. It seems at every turn there are further and further reductions in Ontario Accident Benefits and now further rights are being removed.
Another change that Ontario drivers are facing is that the government has also reduced the interest rates that injured Ontario drivers and passengers get on their compensation from insurance companies which was reduced from 5% to 1.3% . This reduction in interest unfortunately can hurt Ontario drivers , as it gives less incentive for insurance companies to settle with claimants due to a lower interest rate.
Reducing Insurance Fraud. Really ?
The Ontario government would have us believe that their goal in this Act is to reduce insurance fraud and reduce insurance costs, but there is much more at play. So far the “promised 15 % reduction in insurance fees” has yet to be seen . The Toronto Sun reported that premiums have dropped by an average of only 6 %: a far cry from 15% !
The Importance of Accessing all Ontario Accident Benefits
We don’t disagree that automobile insurance is very expensive and lowering insurance premiums is important. What is even more important in our opinion is the ability to access ALL the accident benefits. We work each and every day with people who need these Accident Benefits not only for medical bills but also for expenses such as caregiver expenses, loss of income , etc.. Without access to these benefits, there are many people who will continue to suffer after an accident.
With further and further reductions in Accident Benefits what will be the end result? We don’t think it’s heading in a good direction at all. The Ontario Insurance Regime continues to change and Ontario drivers continue to have their rights and benefits reduced. This is frightening.
Our Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here For You
If you have questions regarding Ontario insurance or making an accident claim, our lawyers and accident benefit specialists are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation or visit our website for more information.
Ottawa Cycling Accident
Listen up Ottawa… Do you have any information that could help this family ?
36-year-old cyclist Mathieu Trudel was involved in a very serious cycling accident on October 30 that resulted in him being in the hospital with a very serious brain injury.
Mathieu is a visual and graphic artist and was on his way to work, riding his bicycle in the eastbound lane of Rideau Street, close to the Cummings Bridge. The accident occurred at approximately 8:40 a.m.
We do know that Mathieu crashed and injured his right side, fractured his cheekbone, suffered a closed head injury and was found unconscious. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet. This helmet may have saved his life. The rest of the details surrounding his accident are unknown. This is where hopefully someone can help.
Mathieu’s family is asking for the help of the Ottawa community. If you witnessed this accident or have any information that can help determine what happened, please contact authorities. Mathieu is currently recovering at Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus and any information brought forward may help trigger his memory and help determine what happened in the accident.
How to contact Ottawa Police
If you have any information that can help , please contact Mathieu’s family at 613-837-2641 or call the Ottawa Police and ask for Const. Ryan Lorette at 613-236-1222 ext. 6954. Any information you may have could be valuable. If you can help, please do.
Ontario Accident Benefits …Liberal Interpretation of “Accident” under SABS
By: Brent Meadows
Accidents in Ontario
In Ontario, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may apply for benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) regardless of fault. You may also seek compensation in tort by commencing a lawsuit against any person(s) at fault.
What is an accident ?
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has recently dissected the term ‘accident’ in relation to the SABS. If an injured party can establish that they were injured as a result of an ‘accident’, they may apply for SABS benefits.
What accidents will be covered under accident benefits?
In Kasman and Security National, (FSCO A12-007175, October 2, 2014), Mr. Kasman, the applicant, alleged that he was injured in a motor vehicle accident and was therefore entitled to certain statutory accident benefits. He applied for benefits but was refused by Security National on the basis that he was not injured in an ‘accident’ as defined in section 2(1) of the Schedule.
By way of background, Mr. Kasman was struck on the head by the arm/gate that regulates entry into an underground parking garage. He walked and followed a car that triggered the arm to lift. The arm then lowered on his head as the car that Mr. Kasman was following continued into the garage triggering the sensor that causes the arm to lower.
Arbitrator Rogers had to decide whether or not Mr. Kasman’s injury was directly caused by the use or operation of an automobile. Security National relied on cases where individuals were not entitled to accident benefits and where their injuries were caused by an assault that occurred in or around a vehicle. In the ‘assault’ type of cases, Swaby v. Allstate Insurance for example, it was decided that the injuries did not arise out of the use of an automobile.
Arbitrator Rogers further differentiated the case at hand from Mahadan and Co-operators General Insurance Co (FSCO A00-000489, March 15, 2001) where an individual was injured after he placed groceries in the trunk of his car and soon after tripped on a pothole. The pothole broke the chain of causation and the claimant was not entitled to the accident benefits.
However in Kasman, the injury was directly caused by the car as it triggered the arm/gate to go up and down. Specifically, arbitrator Rogers noted that “Had the car hit the arm, which in turn hit Mr. Kasman causing injury, there would be no doubt regarding causation. I see no qualitative difference because the arm is remotely triggered.”
Arbitrator Rogers ultimately held that Mr. Kasman was injured as a result of an “accident” as defined in section 2(1) of the Schedule as the incident arose out of the use or operation of an automobile, and the use or operation of the automobile directly caused the impairment.
If you have been injured and aren’t sure of your rights, contact an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer. Most lawyers offer a free consultation and can walk you through your options and help you determine what’s best for you and your family moving forward. For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/insurance-claims