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Understanding The Complexities Of Private Insurance And Tort Cases In Ontario

In Ontario, most drivers who end up in an auto-collision are covered to some degree under the insurance provided by their employers. This may be confusing to many people who pay good money for auto insurance, since the insurance company may not have to pay a dime depending on the severity of their injury. If the injury requires serious treatment, or the victim misses enough work to warrant a payment for lost wages, the private insurance company will likely have to fork over some cash; but this is not always the case. In the instance that a victim feels they have not been compensated sufficiently by the WSIB and the private insurer, it is advisable for them to contact a personal injury lawyer who can assist in filing a claim against the negligent party.

As discussed in a separate Goodman Elbassiouni LLP blog post this month, residents in Ontario pay extremely high insurance rates. Debate regarding the auto insurance industry has been sparked recently by David Marshall, the former president and chief executive officer of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), who was given the task of reviewing the system in 2015. His final report, entitled Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario, was released recently and contained many far reaching implications that should interest the average auto insurance client.

While Marshall argues that handing the matter of auto insurance over the the provincial government would be going to far, he points out that the standards and precedents for policies and laws surrounding auto accidents are all over the place. Because securing fair compensation in Ontario can be such a bumpy ride, it is essential when filing a claim above and beyond the settlement offered by your standard insurers (often referred to as a tort claim) that you find a reliable personal injury lawyer to help navigate the unnecessarily complex process.

Marshall’s review of the auto insurance system suggests that the province should establish a basic safety net for victims, rather than interjecting aggressively and completely disrupting the current state of affairs. This would involve establishing a list of documents and evidence that would be mandatory to proceed with the case (the idea being that this would streamline the process), as well as a possible early examination period that could clarify the case before it starts eating up precious time, energy and money.

In the meantime, rather than holding your breath and waiting for the government to fix the system, the best thing you can do is educate yourself regarding the current system so that you’re prepared in the event that you are involved in an auto accident. You might argue that the chances of an accident are slim, but if you check the statistics or think about how many times you’ve heard from friends or family members suffering nasty setbacks from an accident, you’ll realize how common it is to experience a collision.

The future may hold self driving cars and a shift in the basic way that we commute, but until then, humans are behind the wheel in every vehicle, and humans are undeniably flawed. When the institutions in place fail to provide what is rightfully yours in your time of need, refer to an expert to help navigate the complex world of private insurance and tort cases.


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