When a car accident happens, you would like to think that the insurance company insuring the at fault driver will pay out on a meritorious claim.
That makes sense.
But more often that not, insurance companies try to avoid (putting it kindly) their obligation to pay out on such claims. They will leave no stone unturned in an attempt to get out of paying. Smart tactic when it works. But breaches all conventional norms of decency when it fails. But a little egg on the face of an insurer isn’t a new thing.
One of the ways that they can avoid paying out on claims is by attempting to nullify the insurance for the Defendant at fault driver.
They can do so in a number of ways.
One of the ways is to declare that the at fault Defendant driver didn’t have any sort of insurance coverage in the first place.
This happens more often that you would think. During the Pandemic, many Ontario drivers stayed at home on account of COVID and the lockdowns. These motorists had cars, which weren’t being used at all. They were just sitting in the garage, all the while the motorist was paying insurance premiums. Many of these motorists temporarily cancelled their car insurance during the Pandemic to save a few dollars. This makes perfect sense.
But the problem became that many of these drivers who removed coverage, forgot to reactivate their coverage when the world opened up again. The result was that they thought that they were driving around with proper insurance coverage, but in reality; they were not.
In that example, the insurance coverage is well within their rights to deny coverage for a car accident which took place when there was a temporary hold, or removal, of the insurance coverage. You don’t get coverage for free.
Here’s another example which few people may encounter, and may even have a harder time understanding.
Sometimes insurers put out the position that the car accident was inevitable. It may have been caused by a medical emergency, like a heart attack, seizure, or feinting episode to the at fault Defendant driver behind the wheel.
In those cases, where the insurance company can establish that the car accident was inevitable, then the insurer gets to escape any responsibility for the subject car accident.
Truth be told, that really doesn’t make common sense. You would think that the insurer representing the driver responsible for the car accident, even in the event of a medical emergency, would still be on the hook for the damages caused by their driver. But the law doesn’t work that way. The laws for car accident cases have been influenced by large insurers all over the board. And on one part of the board, the laws have been crafted in such a way that if an insurer can establish that the car accident was caused by a medical event and was therefore unavoidable; that the insurer will not have to pay. The rationale is that it was the medical emergency which caused the accident and not the negligence of the defendant driver. There can be no case against a Defendant in a car accident case if negligence cannot be established against that Defendant.
Unfortunately, this is the way the law works in Ontario. That doesn’t mean that it’s right. That’s just the way it works.
You would think that if someone is driving their car and they collide into you, that either their insurance company, or more importantly, your own car insurer would compensate you for your injuries. This would help promote public policy of driving with insurance and also help motorists feel more protected while driving with insurance. I would submit that the way the law presently works as it relates to so called unavoidable or inevitable accidents is contrary to public policy and to the public good. What lawyers and the Courts have to tell people who were seriously injured (or killed) is that they were simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time; and through no fault of their own, that they are not entitled to any sort of compensation for their injuries or losses despite carrying valid car insurance which ought to insure themselves for such an unlikely event.
I think it’s for reasons like these that I’m happy to be a personal injury lawyer who represents people who have been seriously hurt, or injured in accidents. In these sort of cases, I get to fight against a faceless, large, multi national corporation who is saying “no” to someone’s entitlement to compensation. It’s far more rewarding, and fulfilling being the person who says “yes” and gets people the compensation which they deserve. I would have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that an innocent person, or his/her family is being deprived of compensation on account of some obscure laws which make little to no sense.
What’s even harder to grasp is that the money which is being paid out on these claim comes from a deep pocketed insurer. It is not being paid out by the “innocent” Defendant who was “responsible” for the unavoidable accident. It’s not like the Defendant driver himself or herself is asking for the mercy of the Court because they don’t have the means to pay out on a potential judgment. Quite the contrary. The insurer is not only able to pay out on the Judgment, but they are also able to afford to pay for their lawyers on an hourly rate basis and hire whatever hired gun experts they wish. It’s a seriously flawed system which is fostered by some seriously flawed laws and rules which hurt innocent accident victims.
Real talk? Sure. The start to the 2023/2024 Toronto Raptor season has seen them start 2-3;when they really should be 4-1. Never before have a seen a team loose a game when victory was all but eminent. They constantly grasp loosing from the clutches of victory. It’s quite remarkable. I stand by my convictions that the roster construction on the team remains poor. They have too many wings who share too many of the same skill sets. They lack at the backup point guard and shooting guard positions. They lack overall shooting. They lack closing. Scottie Barnes is most effective with his back to the basket, and not playing point guard. Taking Scottie Barnes outside of, or away from the paint limits his offense. OG Anunoby has never made an All-Star Team and has only made the All Defensive Team once (Second Team!) in his now 7 year NBA Career. That’s not to say that he’s a bad player. It’s just to say that he not an All Star player yet people speak of him, and value him as if he is a Multi Time All-star and a perennial All NBA player.