The Ontario Insurance Act has recently been amended to deny those injured on public transit from claiming accident benefits if the vehicle they were on when they sustained injury was not involved in an actual collision with another vehicle or object.
These changes mean that those who suffer injuries on public transit due to unexpected braking, wild turns, or any other incident that doesn’t involve an actual collision, cannot submit an accident benefits claim. This affects a great deal of people who suffer injuries after being thrown about while riding in busses, trains, streetcars or subway cars. We have had clients who have suffered serious injuries such as knee replacement surgery after a fall on the bus. Now, they will have no funding for physiotherapy or prescriptions resulting from the fall.
In addition to this amendment to the Insurance Act, there were changes made that allow for the driver or owner of the public transit vehicle to be sued more easily. In the past, these parties were deemed “protected defendants”, and it was difficult to file a lawsuit against them because of the various barriers that existed in the Insurance Act. Those barriers have now been removed.
These amendments to the Ontario Insurance Act were made on May 12, 2011 and are outlined the Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2011. Auger Hollingsworth is disappointed these changes were made. They will hurt accident victims.