As part of the Ontario provincial budget announced on April 23, 2015 many important changes have now all been introduced into legislation. The result is that all of the government’s announced changes reduce the funding available to accident victims, reduce the chance for an accident victim to regain their independence and result in further pressure on the chronically under-resourced public health care system.
Here are some of the recent changes:
When you need the benefits, they do not provide nearly enough money.
The new, reduced limits provide benefits that amount to about one-third of what used to be provided. Purchasing optional benefits still means your claim is being handled within the terribly flawed system outlined below.
It no longer provides immediately needed help.
Changes have been made to the tests for determining if you qualify for enhanced benefits (i.e.: if you have suffered a “catastrophic impairment”). Those new tests are generally ones that can only be accessed many months after the accident (well after the most crucial period) and often after a prolonged dispute.
You cannot sue your insurer for mistreatment.
To the pleasure of insurers, the Ontario government added in a new law prohibiting lawsuits against insurers about handling of your claim, leaving insurers largely immune from punishment for any misconduct.
It pays less than minimum wage for attendant care assistance.
Where professional attendant care assistance is needed, the insurer is only required to pay hourly rates that are less than the minimum wage, so you cannot really find anyone to help. Further, the insurer does not have to pay your family for helping you unless your loved one gives up an employment opportunity.
If you already have private insurance through work, your car insurance accident benefits can only be accessed after you have recovered everything available from your existing group health insurance.
Those with good health insurance policies may never be able to access their mandatory, no-fault benefits. For example, if you have access to short or long term disability benefits, you are still paying for an insurance policy that includes access to income replacement benefits that you do not need.
The insurer-initiated assessments are controversial and expensive.
The accident benefit system allows insurers to spend money to have their preferred providers review whether you need care recommended by your treatment providers. Often, the costs of the assessments outweigh the treatment in dispute, resulting in very limited value being received by the claimant.
These changes place new and additional legal complexities for both the MVA claimant attempting to access the benefits they require in their time of need and also for the rehabilitation center, in order to recover any and all costs for the services they have provided to the MVA claimant.
There has never been a more appropriate time where both the MVA claimant and rehabilitation center require a seasoned and skilled, legal practitioner in order to legally pave the way to access and/or recover rehabilitative costs.
Indeed, rehabilitation centers and legal representatives must now cooperate and coordinate their efforts together with a broader understanding of their mutual goal which is to aid the MVA claimant through the entire process so that they receive the maximum benefits they deserve.
Scales & Shield Paralegal Professional Corporation is a multi-disciplinary legal practice with a focus on Personal Injury including Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA). Our legal specialists have more than 10 years’ experience in the operation of a rehabilitation center. This gives Scales & Shield a distinct advantage and a more comprehensive understanding of the structure and difficulties a rehabilitation center encounters.
Scales & Shield Paralegal Professional Corporation understands the nature of the rehabilitation business and can talk to you in your own language.
Scales & Shield Paralegal Professional Corporation employs the use of a state-of-the-art, custom and proprietary, electronic document registry and alert software system that gives Scales & Shield a unique advantage in the collection, maintenance and accurate accounting of all information about our clients claim.
Scales & Shield Paralegal Professional Corporation is driven to help achieve the best possible results for all of our clients whether an MVA claimant or a rehabilitation center.
In short, Scales & Shield shares an uncompromising commitment to serving your interests and ensuring a successful outcome.