Proposed Changes to Ontario’s Auto Insurance
The government has commissioned a study to try and improve automobile insurance laws to help consumers deal with their own insurance companies.
There has been an important development since the time I wrote my last article which was mainly about how it is so complicated for persons hurt in car accidents to get their own insurance company to pay for the treatment they need after they have been hurt in a car accident.
The government has commissioned a study to try and improve automobile insurance laws to help consumers deal with their own insurance companies without the necessity of lawyers. The stated rationale is that there is a lot of money being paid out to legal representatives, lawyers and licenced paralegals that could otherwise be going to claimants.
They are suggesting making changes to the current system that would largely make it unnecessary for persons hurt in car accidents to have legal representation to deal with their own insurance companies.
These changes would include the following:
a) Setting up hospital based Independent Evaluation Centres which would diagnose claimant's injuries and make treatment recommendations. The results of these evaluations would be binding on all parties. (No second opinions allowed).
Comment: Been to a hospital emergency room lately? Seems to me having hospital doctors assessing car accident victims to see what treatment their insurer should fund will just create more back log and cost to an already strained system.
b) Insurers will follow claimants to see how they are doing and make sure they are getting everything they need
c) No cash settlements
(Note: Currently many retainers with legal counsel are funded on contingency arrangements; with no cash settlements and/or contingency arrangements.)
This is just a brief summary of some of the proposed changes. Anyone who has been hurt in a car accident has probably heard of the Minor Injury Guideline. Believe it or not the Minor Injury Guideline was actually supposed to help people get the treatment they needed more quickly.
In 2016 they took away the right claimants had to sue their own insurance companies for breach of contract forcing them instead to take all disputes to the Licencing Appeal Tribunal. The logical next step just seems to get rid of lawyers altogether. I bet the Insurance Companies would really like that!
A lot of talk in the article about legal costs, very little about insurance company profits. Interesting.
If you have been injured in a car accident you will benefit greatly if you have the advice and representation of legal counsel to help you negotiate your way through this maze and to access the treatment you need as early as possible to maximize your chances of making a good recovery from your injuries. Please feel free to call me with any questions or to arrange a private consultation at no cost to discuss your rights. I welcome your call on my direct line 519-497-7421 or feel free to go to my website and complete a confidential online intake form. www.morellkelly.com.
Lisa Morell Kelly,
Direct line 519-497-7421