Lawyers for the injured and injured-to-be should understand that the insurance industry has a long and complex history of making the situation worse.
The Canadian Association of Car Accident Lawyers says the industry’s recent push to regulate auto collision policies has “damaged the consumer, undermined consumers’ rights, and endangered their lives.”
The organization has called for a federal task force to address car insurance regulations and for the federal government to implement a comprehensive review of the current state of the industry.
The association says the recent wave of insurance-related regulations have also “damaging the consumer and undermining consumers’ right to know.”
That’s a common theme in the industry, says Peter Noll, a Toronto-based lawyer who represents many injured and seriously injured motorists in a car collision case.
“What we have seen is the insurance companies not only trying to stop the lawsuits but they are pushing for more and more regulations,” Noll says.
“They are trying to make it harder to drive a car.
They are trying and trying to keep drivers from being able to afford car insurance.”
Noll has represented dozens of seriously injured and critically injured drivers, including two who were killed in accidents in the past two years.
He has also represented many injured drivers in car accidents.
He says the current wave of regulations has “drastically impacted” the insurance-industry industry and that there are a variety of factors that drive the industry to take actions that are “unnecessary and unreasonable.”
“What’s interesting is, we are seeing more and More of the regulations are trying, at the same time, to push people out of their car,” Nell says.
Noll adds that the industry has done “absolutely nothing” to prevent auto insurance companies from making life-or-death decisions based on a subjective assessment of a driver’s ability to drive safely, as some have suggested.
“When a driver is impaired, it is not a matter of their ability to safely drive.
It’s a matter that’s dependent on their brain functioning,” Nill says.
While he says the insurance industries response to the current situation has been “pretty disappointing,” Nll is optimistic.
“The industry has tried very hard to find solutions and it has worked.
They’ve tried to push the limits, and the results have been pretty spectacular.”
But some say it’s not enough.
“It is clear that we need to have a comprehensive national discussion about the insurance regulations that are currently being enforced,” says lawyer Mark Latham, who is working with a group of car accident lawyers to develop a national registry of all the injuries and deaths in Canada involving people who have been hit by vehicles.
The registry would have a central database that would allow the industry and regulators to quickly and easily identify who was driving under the influence.
The federal government has committed to providing the registry, which would be available online by July 2018, but Latham says it is “very difficult” to implement.
“We can’t just do this one step at a time,” he says.
In his experience, the industry is not doing a good job of working with the government and with the courts to address what he calls the “complex, complex” nature of the problem.
He points to a recent report from the Ontario Bar Association, which found that the “failure to adequately address this problem is a key factor behind the significant increase in serious injuries in Ontario.”
“It would be great to see the federal or provincial government working with insurers to make the insurance sector aware of the seriousness of this issue,” says Latham.
“But this is a problem that’s going to require significant investment and change.
It will require a whole lot of attention, a whole bunch of public outreach, a lot of change.”
In addition to the car accident lawsuits, the ACCL also wants the government to make its insurance policies more transparent.
It says the government needs to establish a national database of all car insurance claims and policies, and to make an explicit distinction between a claim and a claim that was “accidentally” or “unreasonably” settled.
It also wants to set out a mandatory, mandatory insurance disclosure rule that would require insurance companies to disclose “the number of claims for every accident and the total number of injuries and the costs of each claim.”
Insurance companies would also be required to report to the ACCLA any “mis-claims” that have resulted in injuries and to “provide information about the settlement amounts.”
Latham is optimistic about the government’s response to his group’s concerns.
“This is going to be a long process,” he said.
“There is a long way to go, but the evidence is there that this is an issue that is very serious.
We are working on it.”
SOURCE: car accident law,ca,david rochlin,accident lawyer,a,l,lawyer source The Canadian Press title David Rutlin’s Car Accidents: A lawyer’s view article Lawyers say the new