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Impact of COVID-19 on personal injury claims in Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only made our justice system inaccessible for many but has placed an exceptional burden on disabled persons with personal injury claims.

Following the onset of the pandemic, the Ontario government suspended most court activities, including all civil lawsuits. Many injured and disabled persons with personal injury claims have had to receive that dreadful phone call from their lawyer informing them that their claim could not be issued because the courts were not accepting filings or that their scheduled trial had been adjourned until further notice.

There are no words to alleviate the stress and anxiety this causes to a disabled person or their families, especially when their injuries prevent them from working and providing for their loved ones.

The suspension of limitation periods from March 16 to Sept. 14 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act has severely exacerbated the already existing backlog in Ontario’s court system.

In most personal injury claims, these types of delays severely prejudice a plaintiff who is often already at a disadvantage because of the significant disparity in resources between themselves and a defendant that is represented by a large insurance company. Typically, a plaintiff suffers a financial disadvantage before a lawsuit even begins through their loss of employment or a limited capacity to continue working, their need for treatment or personal care and other factors.

Read more here

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