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Toronto Speeders Put Most Vulnerable Road Users at Risk

Although issues like impaired driving and distracted driving attract more headlines, speeding remains a critical road safety issue in Canada, as most car accident lawyers can attest. According to data published by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, 27 per cent of fatalities and 19 per cent of serious injuries in 2011 involved speeding. Forty per cent of speeding drivers involved in fatal accidents were young, between the ages of 16 and 24.

Similar numbers have been recorded by the US Department of Transportation: speeding has been a contributing factor in a third of all traffic deaths in the United States over the past 20 years and contributed to 26 per cent of all traffic fatalities in 2017.

What’s more troubling is that drivers know that speeding is a major risk. According to a national study conducted for Transport Canada in 2007, 47 per cent of Canadians agree that speeding is a main cause of traffic collisions.

In Toronto, there has been renewed focus on dangerous driving in School Zones as students return to class. According to a CBC analysis of city data, approximately 21 per cent of vehicles tracked in School Zones since 2017 were caught speeding. The most dangerous stretch was Jane St. north of Bloor St. West, near Saint Pius X Catholic. In that zone, roughly 85 per cent of drivers exceeded the 60 kilometre per hour speed limit.

“People just have to change their behaviour,” said Mayor John Tory, per the CBC. “And I’m hopeful automated speed enforcement will do the trick, but it will take time to take effect.”

In July, a fleet of 50 automated photo radar ticketing devices were activated around Toronto. They have already issued thousands of tickets. However, road safety activists believe improved street design will be a more effective deterrent.

“We know that vehicle speed is a function of the design of a road, and has very little to do with the actual posted speed limit,” said Jessica Spieker of the road safety group Friends & Families for Safer Streets to the CBC.

In other words, wide, straight streets with multiple lanes of traffic encourage excess speed, while narrower roads with traffic calming measures promote safer driving.

Improved road design is a key component of the city’s Vision Zero safety plan, an initiative that is supported by many Toronto car accident lawyers. The plan makes clear that speed is a significant contributor to deaths of vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. It proposes installing separated bike lanes, concrete bump outs, wider sidewalks, and a variety of other measures with the goal of eventually eliminating traffic fatalities in the city.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a traffic accident in Toronto, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers will assess your claim and provide the guidance and representation you need on your road to recovery.

 

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Complex Motor Vehicle Accident Claim May Reach Supreme Court

Last month, Canadian Underwriter reported on Tuffnail v. Weekes, a personal injury lawsuit stemming from a 2009 motor vehicle accident involving impaired driving. The case involves multiple defendants and complex arguments surrounding liability and insurance claims. The plaintiff, Gregory Tuffnail, has applied for it to be heard before the Supreme Court of Canada.

What Happened?

Tuffnail was a passenger in a single-vehicle accident following a wedding reception in southwestern Ontario in 2009. The driver was impaired at the time of the accident; a second passenger in the vehicle was killed. Tuffnail sustained serious injuries.

At a jury trial in 2017, Tuffnail was awarded $3.5 million in damages. The driver of the vehicle was found 65 per cent liable for the accident, the groom who hosted the reception was found 20 per cent liable, a bartender who wasn’t named in the lawsuit was found 11 per cent liable, and Tuffnail himself was found 3.85 per cent liable.

Why Is the Case Ongoing?

 There appears to be no dispute over the apportioning of liability. However, there are serious questions about who should pay Tuffnail for his damages. The driver of the vehicle, who was chiefly responsible, had only $200,000 in insurance coverage; Tuffnail received $189,780. The groom’s estate (the groom passed away before a verdict was determined) provided $1.898 million. Combined, that leaves Tuffnail well short of his full $3.5 million payout.

Luckily, Tuffnail had purchased OPCF 44R Family Protection Coverage, an optional form of auto insurance coverage that provides relief when an at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, through State Farm. The Ontario Superior Court ruled that State Farm owed $800,000 under the OPCF 44R, the difference between the $1 million policy limit and the impaired driver’s $200,000 policy limit.

However, that ruling was overturned at the Ontario Court of Appeal in June 2020, according to Canadian Underwriter. That decision stipulated that State Farm was able to deduct the combined total insurance limits of the impaired driver, the deceased groom, and the at-fault bartender, even though the bartender wasn’t named in the original personal injury lawsuit. In other words, State Farm was able to deduct $3.2 million from the original $3.5 million award, and as left to owe just $347,000.

Next Steps

Clearly Tuffnail v. Weekes is a particularly complex personal injury lawsuit. If the case proceeds to the Supreme Court, that body will decide how much Tuffnail should receive from State Farm, and how the remaining amount should be divided between the at-fault parties.

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team has experience with all manner of motor vehicle accident claims, including complex insurance disputes involving multiple at-fault parties. Reach out today to learn how we can help.

 

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COVID-19’s Impact on Road Safety in Toronto and Elsewhere in Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every facet of day-to-day life in Ontario, including how, when, and why citizens leave their homes. In downtown Toronto, for example, motor vehicle traffic is down from years past, while cycling traffic is up. On provincial roads, police are grappling with an increase in speeding fatalities. Here’s how road safety has changed in the province this year, and how a car accident lawyer can help.

Road safety – particularly the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users – has been a major concern for the City of Toronto for several years. Although deaths and serious injuries involving pedestrians and cyclists have declined from their 2012-2013 peaks, there has not been a significant reduction in serious accidents since the city began collecting data in 2007… until this year.

According to the Toronto Star, just 63 pedestrians and cyclists were killed or seriously injured in collisions during the first half of 2020. That is the lowest number on record and significantly below the 12-year average of 99. Collisions plummeted in April as the COVID-19 lockdown took hold and motor vehicle traffic reached a low point.

“There’s this idea that maybe pedestrians are distracted or looking at their phones,” said Nancy Smith Lea, director of the Centre for Active Transportation, to the Star. “(But) clearly when there are no cars, there are no fatalities. And that’s as simple as that. Cycling and walking are inherently safe.”

Will injuries and fatalities return to pre-pandemic levels as more anti-COVID measures are lifted in the coming months and years? That’s difficult for anyone, even an experienced car accident lawyer, to say. Though the return of heavy motor vehicle traffic will likely cause an increase in collisions, the city has implemented several road safety measures that could mitigate the issue. These include an expansion of the city’s cycling network and the launch of 50 automated speed enforcement cameras.

The cameras have revealed an epidemic of dangerous driving in Toronto. Between July 6 and August 5, they issued more than 22,300 speeding tickets, including to 2,239 to repeat offenders. One individual was ticketed 12 times during that period.

“This data tells a frustrating story but I’m confident it will ultimately show over time a change in behaviour,” said Mayor John Tory in a release. “Right now, it does show the need for automated speed enforcement across our city, and particularly near our school communities. For those who hate getting a ticket or dislike these cameras, I have some simple advice to avoid getting a ticket: simply follow the posted speed limit.”

Speeding is also a major concern outside the City of Toronto, where fatal motor vehicle accidents have actually increased. At the end of August, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced that it had responded to 165 fatal crashes leading to 179 deaths so far in 2020. Speed was the leading factor, contributing to 32 fatalities, following by distracted and impaired driving, leading to 28 fatalities each. Twenty-six motorcyclists have been killed on OPP-patrolled roads this year, up from 16 last year; 27 pedestrians have been killed, up from 21. Six cyclists have also been killed.

“For so many innocent people killed in these collisions, there’s a driver whose careless behaviour contributed to this senseless loss of life and the lifelong impact left with the surviving families,” said Chief Supt. Rohan Thompson, commander of the OPP’s highway safety division, according to the Toronto Sun.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a car accident in Ontario, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our team will review your case and provide guidance and advice on your road to recovery.

 

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Mother and Daughter Denied Benefits Highlight Struggles of Accident Victims Amid COVID-19

Two Ottawa-area women are struggling to access accident benefits after suffering significant injuries in a May 2019 collision. Their personal injury lawyer says the pair’s treatment by their insurers is an example of how ‘motor vehicle victims are being treated during the COVID-19 pandemic,’ according to the Toronto Star.

Claire Trottier, 57, and her daughter Shannon Plante, 36, live together in a group home near Ottawa. They both suffered serious injuries when they were t-boned by another vehicle last spring. Trottier, who was already recovering from a fall at the time of the collision, now uses a walker and cannot eat solid food. Plante, who has cerebral palsy, cannot use stairs and experiences lingering mental health effects from the crash. Both are eligible to receive up to $1 million in accident benefits under their auto insurance policy from Economical Insurance Company.

According to their lawyers’ estimates, it would cost between $363,000 and $1 million to perform modifications to the group home that would Trottier and Plante to live ‘safely and independently, and similar as possible to their pre-accident lifestyle,’ the Star reports. However, in the months since the accident occurred, the municipality deemed the group home uninhabitable. All other tenants have left, but Trottier and Plante can’t afford new lodgings. Their lawyers requested advance money to cover temporary accommodations, which Economical denied.

“In over 25 years of practice we have never had so little access,” a personal injury lawyer representing Trottier told the Star, “and the pandemic has simply made matters worse and given insurers a license to unreasonably deny benefits.”

“We’re not talking about thousands and thousands of dollars in advance payments,” the lawyer added. “We’re talking about – let’s get these people in a rental, let’s pay the rent, let’s get them into a safe place, then do all the extra reports you want.”

Rents paid to Trottier and Plante by the insurance provider would be credited against the cost of future home modifications. However, Economical refuses to provide any benefits until it has performed its own assessment of modification costs, a process that has been delayed by the pandemic. The assessment is currently scheduled for October. If the insureds feel that the benefits they are offered are too low, they will have to take that dispute before the province’s Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT), which is facing its own significant backlog.

In a follow-up email to the Star, Trottier’s personal injury lawyer wrote that the insurance company’s conduct “undermines the purpose and intent of an insurance policy and runs contrary to the Ontario government’s directive to insurers to assist injured persons as much as possible in these pandemic times, especially when they are at their most vulnerable.”

If you or a member of your family is involving in an accident benefits dispute with an insurance provider, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team will provide guidance and support on your road to recovery.

 

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As Summer Ends, Boating Accidents in Ontario Spike

Boating fatalities in Ontario and across Canada are down compared to this time last year, according to statistics kept by the Life Saving Society. And yet, law enforcement and boating accident lawyers in Toronto have noticed a recent surge of accidents and serious injuries on Ontario’s waters.

By September 6 last year, there had been 65 boating deaths in Canada and 21 in Ontario; this year, there had been 60 and 16 respectively. On the surface, that is positive change. However, as the Life Saving Society’s public education director, Barbara Byers, recently told CBC News Toronto, the shortened boating season may account for the discrepancy.

“With COVID everything was delayed. The boating season started later,” she said. “It really wasn’t until the end of May, early June that we were allowed to leave our house, so the whole boating season was delayed probably by a month.”

In that context, it is worrisome that this year’s fatality numbers are comparable with years past. It is not, however, surprising. The City of Toronto and its surrounding regions have experienced a rash of fatal boating accidents and drowning deaths in recent weeks. Most notably, six people were injured, and one was killed in a marine crash near the city’s popular Woodbine Beach in early September. Another man was killed in a collision on a lake in the Muskoka Region in July.

Boating accident lawyers and other subject matter experts blame a cocktail of factors for the spat of serious and fatal accidents. There have been more inexperienced boaters on Ontario’s waterways this summer, leading to an increase in dangerous boating. Social distancing measures necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, combined with hot and humid weather, also increased demand for boats, which has led to less seaworthy vessels setting sail.

“It’s been kind of a compressed summer with a late start and the weather has been hot, so it’s been a lot of people down here, a lot more boating traffic, a lot of the beaches are quite full of people,” Const. Kevin Lee of the Toronto Police Marine Unit told the CBC. “We’ve had calls for vessels in distress, broken down or they’ve gone overboard – just from lack of experience in how to operate a boat.”

“Boats are going so quickly and they are selling like hot cakes around here,” added Lawton Osler, president of the Muskoka Lakes Association. “There’s just too many boats in the water and they’re going very, very quickly. There are operators that are not capable of going at such high speeds.”

Boating is a beloved pastime in Canada, a tried and true method of beating the heat and enjoying this country’s vast and beautiful wilderness. However, it’s risks should not be underestimated. If you plan to head out on the water during the last months of summer, make sure you have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to get home safely.

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a boating accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team of boating accident lawyers will review your case and provide the guidance and representation you will need during your recovery.

 

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Ontario Mulls Elimination of Civil Jury Trials

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much about the way our society operates, and not all those changes are bad. Yes, the impacts on the economy, the education system, the long-term care system, and other important structures have been dire, but there are now opportunities to improve the way our community works.

For example, personal injury lawyers and other lawyers in the civil field have been frustrated for years by long delays in Ontario’s court system. Even before the pandemic struck, it could take years for a personal injury case to proceed to a jury trial; that timeline has been extended further by the society-wide lockdowns necessitated by COVID-19.

In June, the province’s Attorney General, Doug Downey, solicited feedback from stakeholders on a proposal to suspend, and perhaps eliminate, civil jury trials. The proposal’s immediate aims were to ensure access to justice throughout the pandemic and to address the growing trial backlog.

Unlike in criminal cases, Canada’s constitution does not guarantee the right to a jury trial in civil disputes. Indeed, many legal professionals believe that civil jury trials are needlessly complex, time-consuming, expensive, and in some cases unfair to plaintiffs. However, others believe there is a need for jury trials in certain types of civil cases, including medical malpractice and negligence claims.

Ontario’s lawyers and legal associations answered the Attorney General’s call for feedback resoundingly. Many supported not just the temporary suspension of civil trials, but their permanent elimination.

“At this time, access to justice has to be paramount,” one London personal injury lawyer told CTV News in June. “That has to be the centre of the discussion, and if it is the centre of the discussion, then we can say without hesitation that the existence of civil jury trials is denying access to justice.”

In an opinion piece for the Financial Post, Osgoode Hall adjunct professor of insurance law Joseph Campisi wrote:

“With tax revenues collapsing, provincial budget deficits soaring and our courts in an unprecedented lockdown as a result of the pandemic, there is much greater urgency in addressing the defects of our civil justice system.”

In a guest column for the Windsor Star, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) board member and University of Windsor teacher Jennifer Bezaire wrote:

“Civil juries are typically used by at-fault defendants and their insurers to avoid liability or reduce what they have to pay They know juries decide cases in a vacuum. For example, in car crash cases the law prohibits me from telling the jury that my client will not receive the first $40,000 awarded. The law also prohibits me from telling the jury that an insurance company (not the defendant) will pay my client’s damages. This results in juries awarding much less money to an injured plaintiff than they believe they are awarding. It saves insurers millions of dollars every year.”

Other voices were more cautious. The OTLA’s official submission supported the immediate suspension of civil jury trials until the COVID-19 backlog has been addressed and it is once again safe for juries to convene. It further recommended to “eliminate civil juries altogether on a permanent basis” for certain types of civil proceedings. However, it also cautioned against eliminating juries in cases that “trigger a public interest and engage community values of a person’s character.” Medical malpractice claims fall into this category.

“For medical malpractice cases it is important to allow the community, as the most invested and impacted stakeholder, to set the community standards by which we are all to live,” the OTLA submission reads. “Similarly, it is important to engage the community in cases of nursing home or institutional neglect. These are issues that affect all Ontarians.”

In other words, although the suspension of jury trials may be necessary to address the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, and although the elimination of jury trials in some cases may help Ontario grapple with its massive trial backlog, the blanket elimination of jury trials could limit access to justice for certain Ontarians and drive a wedge between the court system and the community it seeks to serve.

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a member of your family have been injured in an accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team will be happy to review your claim and offer advice and guidance as you embark on the road to recovery.

 

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Ontario Superior Court Throws Out Auto Insurance Class Action

In July, the Ontario Superior Court threw out a proposed class action insurance dispute lawsuit against numerous auto insurance providers over their handling of HST in accident benefits payouts. The claim, which sought roughly $1 billion in compensation, alleged that Economical, Allstate, Belair, Intact, Aviva, Unifund, Certas, The Commonwealth, Co-operators Echelon, Wawanesa, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Travelers, TD Insurance, Gore Mutual, and CUMIS withheld or deducted the harmonized sales tax in benefits payouts. It also alleged that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) failed to enforce provincial rules.

Background

Ontario’s harmonized sales tax was introduced in 2010. At that time, the provincial government ordered auto insurance providers “to pay HST in addition to accident benefits and not to include HST in the calculation of any restrictions to benefits.”

In 2018, the proposed class action alleged that numerous insurance providers had failed to follow that directive, and that the FSCO had failed to enforce it. The alleged result was that many accident victims, including some dealing with catastrophic injuries, did not receive the full amount of accident benefits to which they were entitled.

Damages

CBC News Toronto spoke with plaintiffs in the case in late 2018. It found that some accident victims had seen their benefits run dry, leading to acute physical and mental pain. One interviewee, Jill Nicholson, said that she lives with chronic pain and lingering psychological effects after a serious accident six years earlier. She no longer received accident benefits covering psychologist appointments.

“Every day that I don’t get therapy, it’s just more pain added to me for the next day,” she said. “If I could continue going, I would.

Superior Court Decision

Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba threw out the case in July 2020, ruling that the claims against the insurers fell under the jurisdiction of the province’s Licence Appeals Tribunal (LAT). The LAT has handled insurance disputes since 2014.

“In my view, it is plain and obvious that the plaintiffs’ claims against the defendant insurers fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the LAT,” Belobaba wrote in his decision, according to Canadian Underwriter.

As a result of the decision, the plaintiffs will no longer be able to pursue mass action against the insurance providers. They may still pursue claims on an individual basis before the LAT.

Belobaba’s decision did not extend to claims against the FSCO – the plaintiffs are permitted to continue that action.

“There is nothing in s. 280 of the Insurance Act or in the Court of Appeal’s decision in Stegenga that gives exclusive jurisdiction to LAT over claims of regulatory negligence against a third-party government regulator,” Belobaba wrote.

Conclusion 

Although the Superior Court’s decision is a blow to plaintiffs in the case, it reaffirms that any insurance dispute involving accident benefits must be handled before the LAT. Whether or not plaintiffs in the case decide to pursue their claims on an individual basis remains to be seen.

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

 If you’ve been injured in an automotive accident in Ontario, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced insurance dispute lawyer. Our team will ensure you get the representation and compensation you need to fund your recovery.

 

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Duncan Embury Recognized in 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in Canada

We are proud to announce that Duncan Embury, a Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers partner and head of our Medical Malpractice Group, has been recognized in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.

Duncan acts on behalf of plaintiffs in cases involving all areas of medical negligence, including surgical and obstetrical malpractice. He is a regular speaker and presenter for the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and is a certified specialist in civil litigation.

Duncan also represents clients in catastrophic personal injury claims, including cases involving institutional negligence, occupier’s liability, and product liability, and complex multi-jurisdictional lawsuits.

For more than 50 years, Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers has helped seriously injured accident victims from across Ontario access the compensation they need to fund their recoveries. Our success would not be possible without the talent and commitment of brilliant lawyers like Duncan, who work tirelessly to ensure access to justice for some of the province’s most vulnerable accident victims.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team will happily review your claim and offer guidance and advice as you embark on your road to recovery.

I’ve Been Injured in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver. What Now?

The law in Canada is clear: every driver must own automobile insurance. Unfortunately, a small number of Canadians choose to ignore the rules, putting fellow motorists at risk. In August, Globe and Mail Drive columnist Jason Tchir answered a few common questions about uninsured collisions. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, a car accident lawyer from Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers can help.

“What happens if my car gets hit by one of these idiots without insurance?” a reader asked Tchir. “Am I still covered?”

As Tchir’s column makes clear, insured drivers who are involved in accidents with uninsured motorists still have access to coverage. In provinces that use private insurance providers, like Ontario, all policies include provisions for uninsured accidents. However, the process for accessing compensation may be more complicated in these cases, and the amount of available compensation may be limited.

“If you can identify the vehicle and the driver confirms they have no insurance, then the provincial policies give you some coverage,” said the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s director of consumer and industry relations, Pete Karageorgos. “You’ll need to notify the authorities as soon as possible because they need to conduct an investigation.”

For accidents resulting in vehicular damage but no injuries, uninsured coverage may be up to $25,000, minus a $300 deductible. Purchasing additional, optional coverage may extend that amount.

For accidents involving injuries – the kind of events that sometimes require the help of a car accident lawyer – the process of acquiring compensation varies from province to province. In Alberta, for example, insurance provides up to $50,000 in benefits for two years following an uninsured collision. After that, the injury victim may be able to access up to $95,000 in additional benefits through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims (MVAC) program, Alberta’s Treasury Board spokeswoman told Tchir.

In Ontario, drivers who are injured in uninsured collisions may access benefits through the province’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). Catastrophically injured accident victims can also pursue civil claims for additional compensation against the uninsured driver. If the claim is successful, they can access up to $200,000 through their uninsured automobile coverage.

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an uninsured driver and would like to know more about this subject, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our team will explain your legal options and provide guidance and advice on your road to recovery.

 

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Canadians With Disabilities Face Unprecedented Challenges Amid COVID-19

In early June, the Government of Canada announced a one-time, non-taxable payment of up to $600 to recipients of the federal Disability Tax Credit. The payment, which is intended to help mitigate costs associated with COVID-19, will be made this fall. Well over a million Canadians are eligible to receive the payment, including numerous long-term disability lawyer clients.

“This one-time payment is a very important step, but it is just one of many steps that need to be taken to ensure a quality of access and opportunities for people with disabilities in Canada,” said Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough in a statement, according to CTV News. “As we work hard to safely restart our economy and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, we cannot leave anyone behind, and we certainly cannot leave our most innovative, creative problem-solvers, who are our citizens with disabilities, behind either.”

Canadians with disabilities face enormous challenges at the best of times; during the pandemic, those challenges have been accentuated. In Ontario, the maximum individual monthly benefit available under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is $1,169, an amount that leaves little margin for error.

The Canadian Press recently spoke with 44-year-old Karyn Keith of Brampton, ON. Keith is unable to work due to chronic pain and fatigue caused by a variety of conditions. She receives $1,150 per month in disability benefits, plus an additional $250 for her child. Her husband also has an income, but the family’s financial situation is dire.

“We’re on the precipice, and literally, it’s going to take one thing to kick us off,” she said.

For people like Karyn, the federal government’s one-time $600 payment will make life momentarily easier. But even with the added money, she will receive less than the $2,000 per month that participants in the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program have received since the pandemic took hold.

“If people who work need this money to survive on, what about people who can’t?” Keith asked. “Don’t we deserve a standard of living?”

Canadians with disabilities, including long-term disability lawyer clients, are facing new challenges during the COVID-19 lockdowns: access to food banks and public transit has been restricted; the cost of care is going up; groceries and household items have become more expensive; and food delivery and private transportation services are as pricey as ever. Even with the benefit of financial compensation through a successful long-term disability claim, managing these costs can be challenging.

What CERB makes clear is that the federal government is capable of providing financial relief to millions of Canadians in a streamlined, efficient manner. It also makes clear that the existing benefits available to people with disabilities are largely insufficient. In 2017, a Statistics Canada study revealed that more than a quarter of adults living with disabilities can’t afford aid or prescription medication. It also found that 28 per cent of 25-to-64-year-olds with severe disabilities live below the federal poverty line. There is now hope among advocates for people with disabilities that the success of the CERB program will inspire the federal government to provide more relief to disability benefits recipients in the future.

If you or a member of your family has suffered catastrophic injuries in an accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced long-term disability lawyer. Our team has worked for years with some of Ontario’s most seriously injured accident victims. We understand the unique hardships facing families grappling with a long-term disability, and we are prepared to help.

 

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