In late 2010 we decided to open an office in Brantford. After coming down to the City on business it seemed to be underserviced especially in the area of Personal Injury Law. As we went about setting up our office we had the chance to meet many local people and found Brantford to be a place filled with a hardworking people that radiated community spirit and friendliness.
A large part of our work involves educating our clients about their rights vis a vis both their own insurance company and the insurer of the at fault driver should they have the unfortunate experience to be in a motor vehicle collision. The Advocate provides a fantastic forum for a discussion about personal injury, insurance and other related topics.
A common misunderstanding is that “no fault insurance” means that people who have been hurt in motor vehicle collisions no longer have the right to sue the other driver for pain and suffering. “No Fault Insurance” really means that even if the accident is your fault your own insurance company will pay for the treatment you may require to recover from your injuries as well as other benefits such as income replacement benefits in the event you cannot work.
So if you are in a motor vehicle collision that is not your fault you have two claims. One claim is with your own insurance company for “accident benefits” and the other claim is against the insurer of the at fault driver for “pain and suffering” and other damages.
There is always pressure on the government to balance the interests of the insurance companies in being able to provide reasonably priced insurance to consumers as against the rights of consumers to have affordable premiums and to have reasonable compensation available to them for treatment and damages if they are injured in a collision.
Currently the law the owners of motor vehicles are required to maintain liability coverage in the amount of $200,000.00. In fact the majority of automobile owners have coverage in the 1 or 2 million dollar range.
If insurance premiums become less affordable consumers will carry less insurance and this will inevitably reduce the amount of funds available to compensate the victims of motor vehicle collision.
This balancing act is the driving force behind continual changes to the Insurance Act. These constant changes make it challenging for consumers to be informed about their rights should be involved in a motor vehicle collision. For future columns any reader questions would be welcomed and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to pop into our Brantford office at 515 Park Road North to make an inquiry.
Lisa Morell Kelly
Morell Kelly Personal Injury Law
182 Victoria Street South