Industry News

Monday, May 11th, 2015 - cflaherty

We are paying something for nothing. The mandatory accident benefits policy in Ontario provides minimal coverage for the vast number of people injured in car crashes. Presently, over 90% of victims are restricted to payment of a maximum of $3,500.00. They are forced by law to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollar PER YEAR for this coverage.

Ask yourself. Would you voluntarily pay $1,000.00 per year of $3,500.00 worth of life insurance? Of course not. But the Government of Ontario forces you to pay for this very poor product.

It’s time to speak to your Member of Provincial Parliament.

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Monday, May 11th, 2015 - cflaherty

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has prepared a series of blogs identifying current issues with the recent budget and how it impacts people injured by Motor vehicles. Please read the full blog here.

Part One of a Three-Part Series on the 2015 Ontario Budget

Last month, the Ontario Liberal government revealed its latest budget entitled “Building Ontario Up” but what it does to our auto insurance benefits is actually the opposite by significantly slashing benefits available to accident victims.

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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 - cflaherty

Ontario auto insurance: How much worse can things get for victims?

Changes in 2010 created windfall profits for insurers by slashing coverage for the vast majority.

We need to restore fairness and impose a moratorium on further reductions in coverage!

In September 2010, the Ontario government introduced sweeping changes to auto insurance in response to pressure from the insurance industry to contain injury costs despite the industry’s long-standing failure to address systemic fraud in the system.

The MIG: Minor Injury Guideline for victims

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Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 - cflaherty

The recent case of Scarlett v. Belair Insurance Decision Date: 2013-03-26, Adjudicator: John Wilson, Regulation: 34/10, Decision: Arbitration, Preliminary Issue, FSCO 3965 is the first reported Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) case.

The gist of the decisions stand for the proposition that injured insureds should not be required to take extraordinary steps, or be forced to make leaps and bounds to prove that treatment they require for recovery does not fall within the MIG. In fact it is the opposite that is true. Once insureds, through their care providors, establish with convincing evidence that they will not meet maximum recovery within the MIG limit, the insurer must provide payment for the treatement unless they can prove that the insured is subject to the MIG. It can be said that the applicaiton of the MIG should be considered the exceptiopn rather than the rule.

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Monday, April 22nd, 2013 - cflaherty

The recent case of Scarlett v. Belair, FSCO A12-00107, is important more for what it demonstrates in terms of the state of automobile first party insurance benefits in Ontario at the present time, than as an analysis of the application of the Minor Injury Guideline in the legal context.

They key factors that support this contention are:

1. The amount of time it took Mr. Scarlett to obtain a remedy;
2. The total cost of the process; and
3. The approach of the insurer in adjusting the file.

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012 - cflaherty

Social Justice: Superintendent cloaks policy issue as science on catastrophic impairment

Monday, September 10, 2012 | Written by Alan Shanoff | Law Times

The superintendent’s report on the definition of catastrophic impairment in the statutory accident benefits schedule may seem like a dry topic, but for those suffering injuries in motor vehicle accidents, the difference between having a catastrophic impairment designation and not getting one can be a life-altering distinction.

Of all of the proposals in the superintendent’s report, none is more controversial than the one rejecting the combination of physical and psychiatric impairments to determine catastrophic impairment. The origin of this proposal lies with the final report of the catastrophic impairment expert panel from April 2011.

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Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 - cflaherty

TORONTO, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ – The Ontario government is about to implement another round of cuts to auto insurance benefits, this time slashing coverage for devastating injuries.

“If the government goes ahead with this, it will hurt a lot of very vulnerable people,” says Nick Gurevich, President of the Alliance of Community Medical and Rehabilitation Providers.

Severely Injured May No Longer Be Protected

Accident victims with severe brain injuries or paralysis, for example, may find they no longer qualify for catastrophic coverage. Those unable to work again, who face years of therapy and life in a wheelchair, may be denied the benefits they need.

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 - cflaherty–auto-insurers-routinely-deny-treatment-plans-therapists-say

By Ellen Roseman | Tue Apr 24 2012 The Toronto Star

Suppose you’re driving your car with three passengers and you hit a deer. No one is hurt, except the animal.

Your insurance company quickly pays $24,000 to cover repairs to your damaged car. It’s happy to protect you from financial harm after an accident.

Now suppose you and your passengers are all injured after hitting the deer. This time, the insurance company is slower to respond.

It may turn down your requests to be repaid for rehabilitation treatments not covered by the health care system (such as physiotherapy or psychological counselling). It may treat you as fakers, exaggerating your injuries.

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Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 - cflaherty

As reported by the CBC at

 Hamilton speech therapist says car insurance companies are increasingly rejecting her recommended treatments for people who’ve been hurt in accidents.

Deidre Sperry helps her clients recover from brain injuries. Those who have been hurt in car accidents represent 95 per cent of her client base.

Car insurance companies rejected five of Sperry’s recommended treatment plans this year. She said that is more rejections than in her previous 11 years of practice combined.

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Monday, January 9th, 2012 - cflaherty

Accident victim’s rights to expansive first party or “no-fault” benefits in catastrophic cases has been boosted by the recent decision in Kusnierz v. The Economical Mutual Insurance Company, 2010 ONSC 5749 (CanLII).  The decision overturns the trial decision. 

At trial the judge determined that psychological impairments could not be considered in conjunction with physcal impairments to determine catastrophic impairment.  The Court of Appeal has ruled that both areas of injury can be considered and combined to determine whole body impairments.  This is consitent with the findings in the case of Desbiens where the trial judge followed an approach now confirmed by the Court of Appeal.

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