Auger & Hollingsworth

  • You have amazed me with you talents... and won for me settlements that I did not believe were even real wishes. Thank you... you and your company were the ones that gave us peace of mind and a future in the end. Thank you so much!

    Sheldon Fraser, Motor Vehicle Accident Client
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    21 Tips for a Safe and Prosperous New Year

    Happy New Year!

    There is always lots of anticipation as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.  Hope for a prosperous and healthy new year is at the top of most people’s New Year’s wish list.  As we say good bye to 2016 and welcome 2017, here are 21 tips that will help you and your family stay safe both physically and financially for the next 12 months.

    Tips for a Safe and Prosperous Year:

    1. Review your auto insurance products.  You want to have the right kind of auto insurance and the right amount of auto insurance. Look at your auto insurance to make sure you have the highest liability policy you can afford.  Check to see what optional coverage you have.  Have you upgraded your accident benefits to ensure you are adequately covered in the event of a catastrophic injury?   Don’t wait until you have an accident to find out you don’t have proper coverage.
    2. Check your home and vacation properties for adequate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  Start the year knowing that you and your family will be alerted to any fire emergencies in your home by checking for the existence, expiry date and battery life of your alarms.  The peace of mind is worth this very small investment.
    3. Evaluate your disability insurance policy.  This is expensive insurance but it is a lifesaver if you need it.  If you have a policy, have your needs changed since you purchased it?  Had a baby?  Bought a house?  Make sure you have the coverage necessary to meet your basic needs in the event that you become disabled through injury or illness.
    4. Take care of those minor repairs around your home and business that create tripping hazards.  Every single week the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth meet with people like you who have been injured on steps, ledges or cracks that could have been easily repaired.  If you occupy a property, you have to keep it free of hazards or face a potential claim for damages if someone is hurt.
    5. Increase the nighttime lighting around your home and business.  A well-lit property is less likely to result in injuries from unseen hazards.  Lighting is also a major deterrent for intruders.  Having your property illuminated also seems more welcoming to your guests or customers.
    6. Read your homeowner’s liability policy, commercial liability policy and / or tenant’s insurance policy to make sure you are adequately  protected. Among other things, these policies cover you if someone is hurt on your property.  If someone is hurt and you do not have enough insurance, the injured person’s lawyer could claim against your assets.  Think about the number of people who visit your property and what hazards exist.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  Would you have insurance to cover that disaster?
    7. Keep a list of all of the maintenance work you do on your property. Have a binder that records when you inspected your property, what upgrades you did, what service contracts you have, how often you shoveled or salted your walk way.  If someone is injured on your property, you don’t have to show that you were perfect, only that your maintenance was reasonable.  A log will help you prove that you were reasonable.
    8. Choose your footwear wisely.  Almost all of the serious slip and fall injury cases Auger Hollingsworth handles involving icy parking lots also involve pedestrians in running shoes, or worse, flat soled dress shoes.  Want to avoid the slip and fall in the first place?  Wear winter boots.  It’s not a guarantee but it sure improves your odds.
    9. If you have a car collision, or a bike collision, or a pedestrian collision, call the police if you are even slightly injured.  The best way to ensure that you will get the correct info from the other driver and that the other driver won’t change his or her story after-the-fact.  The auto insurance will be easier to deal with if you report the accident too.
    10. Leave more space than you think you need between you and the driver ahead of you.  You have no idea what’s going on in that car in front of you.  Is the driver distracted?  Is it a new driver?   If the driver ahead of you stops suddenly and you are caught off guard, you may be at fault for the accident.  Plus, even if you stop in time, if you are very close to the car ahead of you the driver behind you could knock you into the car ahead.  The more impacts you suffer in a collision, the more likely you are to be injured.
    11. If you are even slightly injured after a slip and fall or an auto collision– seek medical attention.  At Auger Hollingsworth we regularly fight with insurance companies for clients who waited weeks to see the doctor after an injury because they assumed it was just a strain or they assumed they would get better quickly.  They didn’t want to “bother” their doctor.  It is much harder to prove that an injury was caused by a particular event if you wait to seek medical advice.
    12. Keep proper snow removal tools in your car.  In almost every collision scenario the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth encounter, one driver did not see the other driver in time.  Stay safe by ensuring maximum visibility.  Use a broom or a brush to wipe all of your windows, mirrors, headlights, break lights and hood.
    13. Be aware of short timelines if you are hurt.  If you are hurt on government property there can be outrageously short timelines to give them notice of an injury.  Sometimes, as short as 10 days.  If you are hurt, even if you don’t know if you want to pursue a claim, let the City/ town/province know about the incident within 10 days.  Need help?  The personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can help you give proper legal notice.
    14. Wear a helmet while biking, skating, skiing and  skateboarding.  It doesn’t get much more important than your head. Wearing a properly fitting helmet when engaging in sports with a fall or concussion risk just makes sense.
    15. The left-turning vehicle is almost always at fault.  I repeat: The left turning vehicle is almost always at fault.  Turning left is a huge responsibility.  Even if you believe it should be your turn, the oncoming car should stop at the yellow light or you are “positive” you have enough time to turn left, waiting to be absolutely certain is the right move.  The t-bone collisions that happen when a left-hand turn goes badly are almost always serious.
    16. Apply grit to your walkway, sidewalk, driveway and parking lot.  In Ontario in the winter, a lack of salt or sand will almost always result in a slippery surface.  Even if you clear to the pavement, the black ice can wreek its havoc.  Do yourself, your guests and your letter carrier a favour and apply an anti-slip grit after clearing your surfaces.
    17. Use reflectors at night when walking or jogging.  Most of us wear dark clothing when exercising at night– dark leggings, dark shoes and maybe a hat.  The simple addition of reflectors and a night light can make the difference between being visible and safe and a terrible tragedy.  There are great reflecting dog leashes available too.
    18. It’s okay to help.  In Ontario, there is the Good Samaritan Act that states that if you voluntarily provide emergency first aid at the scene of an accident, you cannot be liable for damages arising from that first aid unless you were “grossly negligent”.
    19. Have a good look at the play structure your kids use.  Have your kids avoid playgrounds without proper cushioning underneath.  Wood chips in particular thin over time.  Let the city or the school in charge know if the cushion is wearing out.  Check too for rusty screw heads that have lost their protective cover, latches that don’t fasten properly and other potential hazards.  Every single year the injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth make claims on behalf of children who have suffered broken bones and concussions as a result of playgrounds in a state of disrepair.
    20. Double check that your doggie is covered.  If you have a dog, ensure that your homeowner’s insurance or tenant’s insurance covers injuries caused by your pet.  In Ontario, a dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their dog, not only as a result of biting but also as a result of an “attack”.  Attack has been interpreted broadly.  While most dog owner cases are relatively small dollar cases, there can be very significant exposure in the most horrific dog bite cases that make the headlines.
    21. In the event of an injury caused by someone else, take advantage of Auger Hollingsworth’s free consultation.  We will speak with you over the phone with no obligation to see if you have a case.  If you may have a case, we will meet with you in person, for free, to provide you with info and an assessment of what we can do for you.  We never get paid until you do.

    Have questions? Want to speak with one of Auger Hollingsworth’s personal injury lawyers and paralegals?  Call us today: 613 233-4529.  Or email us: info@ottawalawfirm.ca.

    Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like an Ice Scraper!

    ‘Tis the season for shopping for friends and loved ones.

    If you are a practical personal looking to make a real difference to a family member’s well-being, consider the gift of safety.

    Here are Auger Hollingsworth’s 16 gift suggestions for those near and dear to your heart:

    For inside the house:

    • Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Escape Ladders
    • Non-slip Bath mats

    This type of gift is especially good  for friends and relatives who are renters.  Renters are less likely to have working alarms and safety equipment.

     For the Car:

    • Car safety kit
    • Snow brush and scraper
    • Roadside assistance membership

    Remember in Ontario you can get a ticket for having snow on your car.

    For around outside:

    • Ice cleats for winter boots (YakTrax)
    • Shovels
    • Salt spreader (similar to a fertilizer spreader)
    • Clear umbrella so the pedestrian can see and stay dry
    • Cane ice grippers
    • Motion light for the side entry.  Bonus if you have it installed!

    For night time:

    • Reflective gear for the runner or cyclist  in the family
    • Reflective collar, harness and leash for the family pup
    • Running Headlamp

    Nothing says I love you like a gift to keep your loved ones secure!

     

    Happy Shopping.

     

    New Deductibles for Auto Claims

    Monetary Thresholds and Deductibles for Pain and Suffering in your Law Suit against the At-fault Driver

    An Ontario car accident case has to be worth a particular amount of money before the injured person is entitled to get any money at all for pain and suffering.  If your injuries measure below the threshold, there is a deductible.  Since 2015, that deductible has been adjusted with inflation.

    Wondering what threshold applies to your auto injury case?

    The monetary threshold beyond which the deductible amount does not apply is $123,016.99, in the case of damages for pain and suffering for accidents between January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2016.

    The monetary threshold beyond which the deductible amount does not apply is $61,507.99, in the case of damages for a family member’s loss of care, guidance and companionship under the Family Law Act until December 31, 2016.

    Wondering what deductible applies to your auto injury case?

    The deductible for pain and suffering when your damages do not exceed the monetary threshold is $36,905.40 until December 31, 2016.

    The deductible for Family Law Act claims  that do not exceed the monetary threshold is $18,452.70, until December 31, 2016.

    Are you wondering if your case would meet the threshold?  Call Auger Hollingsworth for a free, no pressure consultation.  613-233-4529

     

    Completing the Statutory Accident Benefits Forms

    If you have had a motor vehicle accident, you will probably receive forms from your insurance company to complete.  Alternatively, you might download the forms from the FSCO website.  These forms relate to your application for Statutory Accident Benefits, also known as “no-fault” benefits in Ontario.

    In order to claim Statutory Accident Benefits, you MUST complete these three documents:

    • Application for Accident Benefits (OCF-1)
    • Employer’s Confirmation (OCF-2)
    • Disability Certificate (OCF3).

    You will also receive a Permission to Disclose (OCF5), and Expense Claim (OCF6), a Treatment and Assessment Plan (OCF18)  and a Treatment Confirmation (OCF 23).  These forms are not mandatory and are not needed to start your claim.

    Timelines for Completing the Statutory Accident Benefit Forms

    There are timelines for completing these forms, but being a little but late will usually not cause problems, especially if there is a good reason.

    The Application for Accident Benefits, OCF1, should be submitted within 30 days from the day you receive the forms.

    The Disability Certificate, OCF3, should be submitted within 10 days of the completion of the Application for Accident Benefits.

    Who Should Complete the Statutory Accident Benefit Forms

    The Application for Accident Benefits, OCF1, should be completed by the person applying for accident benefits.  That person is referred to as the “claimant”.  A lawyer or a paralegal can help the claimant complete the form.  Auger Hollingsworth regularly assists clients with this form.

    The Employer’s Confirmation, OCF2, has a section that is completed by the claimant.  The balance of the form is to be completed by the claimant’s employer.  If the claimant has had more than 1 employer over the past 52 weeks, each employer should complete a copy of the OCF2.

    The Disability Certificate, OCF3, has a section that is completed by the claimant.  The balance of the form is to be completed by a health practitioner.  This includes a physician, chiropractor, dentist, occupational therapist, optometrist, psychologist, physiotherapist, nurse practitioner and speech language pathologist.  We highly recommend whenever possible that your PHYSICIAN complete the form.  He or she can submit an invoice for completing the form together with the form.

    Where do you Send the Forms

    If you received the forms directly from your own auto insurer, the return address is probably stamped on the forms, or identified in the cover letter that accompanied the forms.  Send them there.

    If you downloaded the forms, you will have to determine where to send them.  Remember that where you send your forms is not dependent on who was at fault for the accident.  Consider:

    • If you have your own car insurance on your own car, send it to that insurer.  That is true even if your own car was not involved in the accident.
    • If you are listed as a driver on an insurance policy, send it to that insurer.
    • If you are dependent on someone or the spouse of someone who has his / her own insurance or is listed on an insurance policy, send it to that insurer.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with insurance, send the forms to the insurance company that covers the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with car insurance and were struck as a pedestrian or cyclist, send the forms to the insurance company of the vehicle that struck you.
    • If you do not have insurance and are not a spouse or dependent of someone with car insurance and the vehicle you were in does not have insurance, send the forms to the insurance company for any other vehicle involved in the accident.
    • If all else fails, send the forms to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

    Need Help Completing your Statutory Accident Benefit Forms?

    At Auger Hollingsworth we help accident victims complete Accident Benefit forms on a regular basis.  Why not give us a call to see if we can help you?  Call us at 613 233-4529 for a free no obligation appointment.

     

    What A Civil Jury Doesn’t Know

    Jury trials can be risky ventures for Ontario accident victims, especially in Ottawa.  Insurance companies often choose juries because they believe that juries are harder on injured plaintiffs than a Judge would be.   For that reason most plaintiffs choose, if at all possible, to settle their cases out of court.  Having said that, sometimes a plaintiff has to stand up for himself or herself and push forward to court.  Having a law firm that is willing to do that for you is very important.

    Part of the issue with jury trials is that for different legal reasons, jurors can be told some information, but not other information.

    For example, in a car accident case jurors cannot be told that there is an insurance company who is defending the at-fault driver and who will pay out any judgment.  Often jurors are left thinking that a poor (albeit negligent) driver will be left with a large amount to pay when of course that is virtually never the case.  Nobody would do a significant trial against a defendant who could not pay a judgment.

    There are rules about how many expert witnesses a party may have.  For example, the injured plaintiff may have multiple doctors treating her.  However, only a few will be permitted to give opinion evidence.  That means that even though many doctors have written opinions on how and why the injuries are related to the accident and not some pre-existing condition, they are not allowed to give “opinion” evidence so they cannot comment on the cause of the injuries or impairments.

    There are rules about what type of information can be used to cross-examine an expert witness.  For example, there may be multiple previous reported cases where a defence expert has been harshly criticized by other courts for being “biased”, and yet the cross-examining lawyer is not permitted to raise these cases in front of the jury.

    The jury cannot be told about what other, similar plaintiffs have been awarded for pain and suffering.  Although the lawyers can suggest a range in their closing statements, the lawyers cannot show the jury case law precedents that support an appropriate amount of damages.  The jurors have no idea what an appropriate range is based on established case law.  They have to pick out of the air.

    The jury cannot be told there is a deductible in car accident cases.  For cases where the general damages are under $100,000 (indexed to inflation), there is a $30,000 deductible (also indexed).  In other words, any award for pain and suffering under $30,000 is actually an award to the plaintiff of zero.

    The jury does not know that apart from its verdict, the judge decides independently whether there is a serious and permanent impairment of an important function.   Where the motion result does not match the verdict result, it is very confusing for the injured plaintiff.  The judge clearly believes the plaintiff  has a sound case, but the jury does not.

    The jury cannot know what the lawyers did to try to settle the case before trial or whether offers to settle were exchanged or what those offers to settle were.

    All of these factors, and many more, make a jury trial a gamble for a plaintiff who is looking for fair compensation.

    Confused about 1-800 law firms? You are not alone!

    Over the past 18 months, an increasing number of mysterious law firms have started to advertise in Ottawa.  You’ve never heard of them, but suddenly they have a fleet (a fleet!!) of OC Transpo buses, billboards and radio ads.  You see those ads and you may well wonder why an Ottawa law firm would be using a 1-800 telephone number.

    The simple answer is that these law firms are not Ottawa firms.  They are from Toronto or southern Ontario.  Many of these firms have no Ottawa presence, apart from the ads.

    Ontario lawyers are allowed to practice all over Ontario.  However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  This is especially true when servicing personal injury clients.

    If you are considering hiring a lawyer from outside Eastern Ontario for your Eastern Ontario accident consider these 3 key facts:

    • Established Ottawa personal injury law firms are very well connected with local rehabilitation teams.  We know the occupational therapists, psychologists, physiotherapist and doctors personally.  We socialize with them.  We support their causes.  Sometimes we train their staff.  You need an Arabic-speaking therapist with a specialty in visual impairment?  We know one.
    • We really do come to you!  When our clients want or need us to come to their homes, we do it.  Every single week Auger Hollingsworth’s lawyers are visiting clients to help gather documents, prepare the case and get and provide updates.  How often are you actually going to see the Toronto lawyers?
    • The vast majority majority of personal injury cases settle without a trial.  But what if yours doesn’t?   How much preparation will you personally get from an out-of-town lawyer?  Will that lawyer meet and interview and prepare all the lay witnesses?  Your family doctor?

    If you want to speak to a local law firm about your Ottawa or Eastern Ontario accident case, call us at 613-233-4529.

     

     

    Preparing to Testify at Discovery

    Most Ontario personal injury lawyers will tell you that in 2015, we are facing an upswing in the number of personal injury cases that are going to trial.   Although the vast majority of accident cases still settle at mediation or at a pre-trial, select cases are being slated, quite early in the process, for trial.

    The increased likelihood of a trial means that your evidence at examination for discovery is even more important than ever.  Examination for discovery is the process after a law suit is started where the opposing lawyer asks you questions under oath outside a courtroom setting.  In the United States (and therefore on T.V.) this process is called “deposition”.

    Clients at Auger Hollingsworth receive extensive preparation to testify for examination for discovery.  For example, clients are given a USB key with an audio recording of tips and information about the examination process.  Clients meet with two lawyers in our office (sometimes more) to review their past medical history,  the issues surrounding the accident, and how their injuries have impacted their lives.  During the preparation sessions, we also practice questions and answers so that our clients are comfortable communicating in a straight forward and clear manner.

    Although we provide as much help to prepare our clients for discovery as we can, there are some simple things that our clients can do on their own to prepare for this important step.

     

    1. Look around your home and property to assess what tasks you did before the accident and how long they took.  Your lawyers have not spent much, if any, time in your home.  We will not be able to prompt you or prepare you about particularities of your pre-accident lifestyle.
    2. Review your personal photos for three or so years before the accident.  Reviewing your activities and  your appearance through photos may make the changes in your life more obvious to you and therefore easier to describe.
    3. Your lawyers will have some medical information about you from before the accident.  However, if you had any major medical issues, surgeries or conditions more than 5-7 years before the accident, bring those to your lawyer’s attention.  Pre-existing conditions or past medical history is usually only damaging if it is concealed and then revealed.  Go back through your personal records to make sure you recall dates for older medical issues.
    4. Look at your c.v. to make sure it is accurate and up to date if you will be relying on it for your work and education history.  It’s never a good idea to embellish your resume but it is certainly not a good idea to use an “enhanced” resume in a law suit.
    5. If you have an unusual work set up, bring this to your lawyer’s attention.  Most of our clients are salaried employees.  If you are on commission, self employed and take a draw, get paid through spouse’s company for income splitting or anything else that is unsual, make sure you have a clear understanding of the details of how it works.  Many discoveries get bogged down when the witness cannot explain how they are paid.

    Examination for Discovery is not a ton of fun.  That’s the truth!  However, the feeling after discovery when you know you have “nailed it” is great.  A great witness at discovery always increases the value of the case, either at settlement or at trial.

    For more information about examination for discovery or your Ontario Personal Injury case, call us at 613 233-4529.

     

    How are damages assessed in an Ontario personal injury case?

    If you have been in an Ontario car accident, you are probably wondering if you should start a legal action and if so, how much your case may be worth.  In most cases, it takes time to assess the damages of a particular case.  As an individual pursues medical treatment and as the details of the case are better understood, it is easier for your lawyer to assess the damages of your case.

     

    Most damages awarded in personal injury cases are called “compensatory” damages.  As the name implies, such damages are financial and are meant to compensate the injured person for any injury or loss they suffered as a result of the accident.  There are a number of different categories of compensatory damages.  The details of your case will determine what kind of damages you may be eligible for.

     

    Compensation for medical treatment is probably the most common kind of damages awarded to an injured individual.  This can include compensation for medical appointments, treatments, etc.  it includes compensation for any medical expenses you have already incurred as well as any future medical costs.

     

    Damages are also often awarded for loss of income.  Depending on their injuries, an individual’s ability to work can be severely affected.  Some people have to stop working for some amount of time after their accident, and this could range from a week to many months or years.  This can also compensation for any future loss of income due to injuries incurred in the accident.

     

    You may also be entitled to damages for pain and suffering.  This category is more vague and is often more difficult to put into financial terms.  These damages, also known as non-pecuniary damages, must meet specific requirements, which involve serious effects of the accident on your life, such as disfigurement or serious permanent impairment.

     

    Compensation for property loss as well as compensation for housekeeping are other kinds of damages you may be eligible for.  Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assess the details of your case and explain to you the kinds of damages you may expect to receive.  While it is good to be aware of the various kinds of damages, nothing replaces experienced legal representation.  If you are wondering what your case may be worth, contact the personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth for a free consultation.

    Call us!  613 233-4529

     

    How is my lawyer calculating my damages claim?

    There are a number of factors that come into play when a personal injury lawyer calculates the damages for a particular accident.  Damages are calculated on a case by case basis and reflect the specific circumstances of the accident in question.  That being said, damages for injury cases in Ontario are also based on precedent.  This means that your damages claim is determined by what other victims with similar injuries have received in the past.

     

    After studying your case, your injury lawyer will be able to determine the range of damages you may be eligible for.  Precedent dictates the range of damages for a particular accident/injury, and the specific facts of your case will determine where you fall in that range.

     

    Before looking at the precedent relevant to your case, your lawyer will determine if you are eligible for pecuniary damages (economic loss) and/or non-pecuniary damages (pain and suffering).  In doing so, your lawyer will consider any loss of income you may have suffered, any extra cost of housekeeping as a result of your injuries, among other things.  The more evidence you can provide of any financial loss or pain you have incurred as a result of the accident, the better your chances are of having a successful damages claim.  Any information you can provide regarding how the accident has negatively impacted your life will help your case.

     

    One final, but important factor in determining your damages is mitigation.  Mitigation means that an injured person must take reasonable steps to reduce or minimize the loss they suffered due to an accident.  Examples of such measures include attending medical appointments in a reasonable time and following medical advice.  It is important that you demonstrate your efforts to recover from your injuries and to get back to a normal life after your accident.  Failure to mitigate the impact of the accident on your life can negatively impact your damages claim.

     

    The personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can advise you on how to mitigate your losses and can answer any further questions you may have about calculating the damages for your injury claim.  Call us at 613 233-4529.

    Ontario’s 2015 Budget is Bad for Accident Victims

    Last week the Ontario provincial government released its 2015 budget.  Although it did not get a lot of attention, an entire section of the budget is dedicated to proposed changes to how injured victims are treated after a motor vehicle accident.

    By and large, the news is not good.

    The first proposal is to change the standard benefit level for medical and rehabilitation benefits to $65,000 (from $50,000) and to include attendant care services under this benefit limit.  Although this looks like an increase, it is actually a decrease.  Attendant care services of $36,000 are currently in place for the standard benefit package.  What happened to that $21,000 of coverage?  Gone!

    The second proposal is to include attendant care services with the $1 million medical and rehabilitation benefit for catastrophic impairments.  Again, catastrophically injured victims currently have access to $1 million for EACH of medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits.   The Premier was asked why Ontario was making this change.  Her answer was that Ontario has very “generous” benefits.   Generous is relative.  If you are a young person with a severe spinal cord injury, you will very quickly learn that $1 million is not very much money.  There was no reason provided to explain why the insurance companies require this change.

    The third proposal is to reduce the standard duration of medical and rehabilitation benefits from 10 years to five years for all claimants except children.    Given the long wait times for MRIs and some types of orthopedic surgeries, there will be some accident victims who will not get proper rehab after their accident because the benefits will expire before they have time to use them.

    The fourth proposal is to eliminate the six-month waiting period for non-earner benefits and limit the duration of non-earner benefits to two years after the accident.  In order to qualify for non-earner benefits, you have to be completely unable to live a normal life.  Only the most injured people qualify for this benefit.  Currently, there is a 6 month waiting period to qualify, but the benefits last until age 65 and then decrease in amount to age 70.  This is a very significant cut that will hurt Ontario’s most vulnerable.  The benefit is currently $185 per week.

    There are other proposed changes that will negatively impact accident victims.  For example, the $30,000 deductible on damages for pain and suffering is going to be indexed to inflation.  That deductible applies to pain and suffering awards under $100,000.  That $100,000 number is also going to be indexed to inflation.  Indexing to inflation seems reasonable.  However, where the dollar figures are to the benefit of accident victims, there is no proposal to index for inflation. For example, the income replacement benefit under the Statutory Accident Benefits has been $400 per week for more than a decade.  The non-earner benefit is $185 per week.   How about a little indexing there?

    Overall, this budget is a kick in the teeth to people who have already been kicked in the teeth!  And really, there is no explanation for why these changes are necessary or assist Ontarians.   The government seems to want to be congratulated  for lowering insurance premiums.  However,  it is no great feat to get a lower price for a lower quality insurance policy.

    Ontarians will be getting less coverage for (maybe, it remains to be seen) lower premiums.  If you want to maintain your level of coverage, you have to pay for upgrades, i.e. pay more for the same.

    Why no uproar?  Primarily because the people who will be negatively impacted by these changes do not know it yet.  These are accidents waiting to happen.

     

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  • Auger Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers representing injured people in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Perth, Cornwall, Kingston, Renfrew, Lanark, Pembroke, Petawawa and Hawksbury, Toronto, Peterboroght, L'Orignal. Note: This Website Provides Information but not legal advice. Contact a lawyer for legal advice about your case. Every case is different.
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