February 1, 2018

What You Need to Know About our Insurance Act and Car Accidents

Many of you do not know that our legal system is prejudiced against plaintiffs who are injured in car accidents.  In response to pressure from the Insurance industry, our Insurance Act has built-in relief for defendant insurance companies from paying damages to plaintiffs.  Briefly, damages under a certain amount are subject to an automatic deductible which stays in the defendant insurer’s pocket.  So, if a jury awards you $70,000 for pain and suffering, you will only receive $40,000.  The jury is not told that this happens.

Grossly unfair though this is, at least for many years the deductible amount was stable at $30,000 off the first $100,000. If your award was more than $100,000, no amount was deducted. For Family Law Act plaintiffs (loved ones, caregivers) the deductible was $15,000 off the first $50,000.

However, as a result of further lobbying by the Insurance industry, in 2015 the Insurance Act was amended to raise these amounts and to tie them to inflation, so that they increase annually.

For 2018, the deductible amount has been increased from $37,385.17 to$37,983.33, deducted from the first $126,610.07 (up from $124,616.21). For Family Law Act plaintiffs, the new deductible is $18,991.67 on awards up to $63,304.51. These amounts represent a greater than 25% increase in under 3 years!In many cases, most or even all of the plaintiffs’ pain and suffering awards are negated by the deductible, because we are not allowed to explain this crooked system to the jury.

This is yet another weapon in the arsenal of the Insurance Defence law firms that they use to intimidate and pressure you into accepting a smaller settlement than your case deserves. It highlights why, more than ever, you have to make sure that you have a committed, aggressive and capable legal team fighting for you.

Cesar Carranza

Cesar Carranza is the head of Campisi Law's Accident Benefits Department. He represents the firm’s clients at mediations and pre-arbitration hearings at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). Under Cesar’s representation, clients are in very good hands. Cesar is a veritable encyclopaedia of accident benefits and is well-versed in the intricate issues that surround Accident Benefits claims.

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