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Feb 09, 2016 in News Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: Advocates for car accident victims call for inquiry into Ontario auto insurance industry

Personal injury lawyers and advocates for the rights of car accident victims are calling for inquiries into the Ontario auto insurance industry. Their primary points of concern are impending cuts to victims' benefits and the fairness of the medical evidence used to assess victims' injuries. On February 1, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) called on the Government of Ontario "to establish a commission to conduct a public inquiry to examine the current state of independent medical assessments of injured auto accident victims." The statement was made to coincide with newly appointed auto insurance advisor David Marshall's first day on the job. The FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform also released a statement recommending a "full public inquiry into the quality of medical evidence used in auto insurance claims." David Marshall, who has spent the last six years as president and CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will be tasked with identifying "additional opportunities for auto insurance reform," according to an October release from the Government of Ontario.

The goal of the reforms, the release states, "is to lead to better health outcomes, lower costs and more affordable insurance premiums." This would certainly be welcome news to FAIR, who have said that Ontario's auto insurance industry is in a state of crisis, and claim that the victims of motor vehicle accidents are regularly manipulated by insurers. Especially troubling to the group is the use of what Chair Rhona DesRoches calls "bogus medical reports and testimony. A public inquiry is necessary to uncover the systematic abuse of Ontario's vulnerable and injured car crash victims by Ontario's insurers and our courts system, and recommend ways to address the harm," said DesRoches in a statement. "We hope Mr. Marshall will get behind the proposal to clean up this unsavoury aspect of auto insurance." The OTLA, too, has called into question the medical evidence and reports used to assess insurance claims, and wants to see the government shift its focus away from placating insurers and towards helping victims of motor vehicle accidents. Whatever actions Mr. Marshall takes, or does not take, will effect tens of thousands of Ontarians. According to a recent article on LFPress.com, there are currently 60,000 motor vehicle accident claims before the courts in Ontario, with another 20,000 in arbitration.

The province's insurance companies spend approximately 70 cents fighting claims for every dollar they actually pay to victims. This litigiousness has led to consistently high premiums even while benefits have plummeted. Since the beginning of the decade, medical and rehabilitation limits for non-catastrophic motor vehicle accident injuries have fallen from $100,000 to as low as $3,500 for more minor cases. Worse still, the limit of benefits for serious injuries and catastrophic injuries - such as spinal cord damage - have each been halved, from $100,000 to $50,000 and from $2 million to $1 million, respectively. Meanwhile the province's insurers posted billion dollar profits in both 2013 and 2014. Whether David Marshall's appointment as provincial auto insurance advisor has any effect on the crumbling system remains to be seen, but for personal injury lawyers and victims' advocates, a new face is at least a reason to hope for optimism. If you or a member of your family has suffered an injury in a car accident, contact a Neinstein & Associates personal injury lawyer today. We can help you receive the compensation you need to follow your path to recovery.

Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

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Accident benefit dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein LLP, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Accident benefit dispute

 

Accident benefits, or "no-fault" benefits, are available to anyone involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible. At Neinstein LLP, we can help advance your accident benefit claim while providing you and your family with the guidance and resources necessary to focus on your recovery. Our accident benefits lawyers based in the Toronto region will act as your advocate and trusted advisor in all matters related to personal injury litigation.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

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