Personal Injury Victims Need More Compensation

Car gets t-boned in Chatham at Keil Dr. and McKinnon. Nov 14, 2014. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

A Windsor lawyer is calling for change when it comes to compensating injured Canadians.

Steven Wilder is also a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and says compensation in Canada is unfair because it’s capped at just under $400,000 if a lawsuit is successful.

He says private insurance companies are not paying their fair share but make millions in profit.

Wilder says the issue must be addressed because personal injury victims in the U.S. with significant or permanent injuries can collect millions of dollars.

“I’ve seen young clients who are never going to work, and their injuries, their damages and what they can sue for is capped, and it’s very frustrating,” says Wilder.

Wilder admits injury compensation in Canada increases with inflation each year, but it’s not enough to support people who will have a lifetime disability and can’t work to support themselves or their families.

A report commissioned by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association shows that Ontario auto insurance profits in 2016 were $1.5-billion, Ontario auto insurance profits are up nearly 60% in the last four years, and Ontario drivers have over-paid by $5-billion in the last five years.

Wilder says private insurance companies should be paying more on behalf of those causing the injury.

“It’s just not fair because these are people who are not at fault for the accident and they didn’t do anything to cause it, and ultimately their life is thrown into a tailspin. They may recover some of what they lost because of the restrictions in law, and it’s just very unfortunate,” he says.

Wilder says serious or permanently injured victims very often rely on social assistance or government support programs throughout their lives, and that’s unfair to the taxpayer.

“Those systems are there to help people in their time of need, but where somebody has been injured by somebody else’s negligence, I don’t know that the public or the government should be funding that. There’s already a strain and drain on OHIP following car accidents,” Wilder says.