While most accidents and injuries that make it to the news are reported in the context of some sensational disaster, the truth is that it’s much more likely that you will suffer bodily harm in a regular, old fashioned car crash. Here in Ontario, there is a statutory system in place that is meant to ensure that the victims of automobile accidents (i.e. the person who was not to blame) are compensated for damages, trauma and lost wages. Sadly, the system doesn’t always function as it should. In many cases your best bet for claiming fair compensation is to hire the services of a seasoned personal injury law firm, such as those that we offer here at Goodman Elbassiouni LLP.
Thinking about car crashes can be frightening and stressful, but fortunately there is good news: a recent study found that the incidence rate of automobile accidents in Ontario is much lower than the national average. Despite that fact that residents of Ontario tend to be responsible drivers, our insurance premiums are actually extremely high. Recently, the Toronto Star reported that in 2015 the average amount of auto insurance paid in Ontario was $1,458 against a national average of $930 — that’s a difference of nearly 57 per cent!
In the densely packed GTA where traffic can get a bit scary around rush hour and the cost of living is also much steeper than the national average, insurance premiums are even higher than the already outrageous provincial average. It is almost as though those who choose to live in the city of Toronto are being punished by their insurance companies for doing so.
The best way to avoid a nasty car crash is obviously to obey traffic laws and drive defensively, however, there are a lot of bad drivers out there and at some point you may come into contact (literally!) with one of them. In this situation, you would think that because you’ve paid such a high insurance premium you would automatically be paid full benefits with minimal hassle on your end. Unfortunately, this is not always a safe assumption.
The auto insurance industry in Ontario is not very well regulated and as a result, receiving fair compensation if often a long slog. It is not uncommon to take an entire year to process the most straightforward incident and it is rare that the victim is awarded what is fairly due to them. While the province is working on reining in an industry that has been given a wide breadth for too long, in the meantime, victims can rely on quality firms such as Goodman Elbassiouni LLP to go to bat for their best interests.
If your funds are tied up or depleted at the time of your accident, fear not — the initial consultation is always offered free. Furthermore, Goodman Elbassiouni LLP works on the basis of a contingency fee — we do not receive payment for the case unless we win. Depending on the severity of your injury you may be eligible for up to one million dollars in settlement fees.
The auto insurance industry in Ontario is a good example of a private sector that has grown increasingly self serving due to a lack of government regulation. In the coming years, hopefully the scales will start to tip back the other way towards lower premiums and quicker, more efficient delivery of appropriate compensation. Until then, Goodman Elbassiouni LLP is here for you.