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Recent Changes to Car Accident Benefits

The government of Ontario is proposing changes to Ontario’s automobile insurance legislation yet again. Unfortunately, these changes do not benefit persons who will suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents. They affect car accident benefits.

The government of Ontario has proposed that the medical and rehabilitation benefits provided for by the no-fault provisions of the Insurance Act be reduced by fifty percent. Drivers will have the option to pay more to increase their benefits back to the current levels ($100,000). This is an increased cost for consumers and one that many may not want to burden themselves with.

This will have a huge effect on pedestrians and cyclists if they do not have car insurance with increased coverage. Many people in Ontario do not own a car. Therefore, would never be able to take advantage of provisions allowing them to increase the medical and rehabilitation accident benefits. If a cyclist or pedestrian (who does not have their own increased insurance) is hit by a car, they will have only a total of $50,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits available to them if they are not deemed catastrophically injured.

Though $50,000 may sound like plenty for medical and rehabilitation benefits, it is not... for many reasons. The primary reason, however, is the medical and rehabilitation assessments portion of your accident benefits in Ontario. The cost of the assessments that are done by both your own caregivers and the insurers ‘experts’. The insurers ‘experts’ conduct these assessments with the goal of finding nothing wrong with you. If you do not require any medical or rehabilitation assistance, the insurance company saves money. Your car accident benefits will go toward paying for these insurance assessments. Easily $15,000 to $20,000 of the total $50,000 can be used up for the assessments. This will leave very little for your rehabilitation and medical expenses.

* The information above is not intended to be legal advice. Each situation is different and the information provided above may not provide you with all law applicable to your facts. To ensure you are properly protected under the law applicable to your facts, please contact Murray Ralston Law for a free consultation.