Ontario used to have fair and generous no-fault benefits for accident victims. But we have seen these erode over the last 15 years. Today, as Cornwall accident lawyers, we have seen benefits for accident victims severely limited in the case of pain and suffering and also the victim’s rights to sue in a court of law.
This leaves accident victims further victimized by laws and the insurance industry that are supposed to make sure they have fair rights to compensation for their injuries after an accident. In fact, the only winner in this situation has been the insurance industry that has experienced unsurpassed profits over the past few years.
The Insurance Act
The current system is certainly not helping victims of life-changing injuries caused by another party. If an injury victim wants to pursue any compensation for pain and suffering, these injuries must exceed what is known as the threshold of severity that was set out by the Insurance Act. This can be extremely difficult to do.
This threshold, according to Section 267.5(3) of the Insurance Act, states that an individual is not liable for another’s injuries unless that person suffered a permanent serious disfigurement or impairment of a physical, mental, or psychological function. In other words, exceeding this threshold means that:
1. The injury must be proven permanent and have been continuous since the accident. It is not expected to improve.
2. The injury must be serious enough to not only impact the victim’s ability to work but must inhibit all activities of daily life including the ability to care for himself or herself.
3. The injury must have a profound effect on a critical physical, mental, or psychological function.
A Punitive Approach Toward the Victim
Unfortunately, as a victim, in order for you to be awarded compensation for pain and suffering benefits, you must medically prove that your injuries caused not only an impairment to nearly every facet of your life but you also need to prove that this will never go away. If you cannot medically prove this, you are left with exactly nothing to compensate you for your life of pain.
A Huge and Arbitrary Deductible
Even if the injuries do manage to exceed the threshold, the Act has imposed a deductible that changes each year. This has gone from $15,000 to the deduction that is currently in place i 2018 for $37,983.33 and will continue to go up each year. This deductible does not apply if your case exceeds $126,610-07. In addition, the amount you can collect to compensate you for the loss of income is capped at only 70% of your gross income.
Do these figures seem unfair and arbitrary to you? They certainly do to us and to the clients we represent.This is why we believe that we need insurance reform in Ontario. A victim is not only profoundly injured but on the defensive at the most inopportune time of their life.
That is why it is most important to have the counsel of a Cornwall personal injury lawyer if you have sustained a life-altering injury due to the negligence of another. At AM Injury Law, we fight diligently for the rights of our clients who are suffering at the hands of another. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your injuries.