No-Fault means No Accountability
Good drivers should not subsidize bad drivers.
With a system of checks-and-balances currently in place here in Alberta, the insurance industry needs to be transparent with consumers. If they’re not, claims get taken to court where the law makes sure that the truth and fairness win out over corporate profits. The “right-to-sue” is part of what keeps everyone on the up-and-up. If “responsible driving means lower rates” is the carrot (please link to the no savings page), right-to-sue is the stick.
What does no-fault mean?
Under a no-fault system, there would be no more recourse for consumers to challenge insurers in court – whatever the insurance company decides about someone’s injury resulting from a car accident would be final. This would save insurers money as they could low-ball consumers with impunity.
Under a no-fault system, there would be no unbiased third party to ensure the process and the decisions made by insurance companies are fair. You have no recourse if evidence about your injuries is missed (or ignored) by your insurance company.
Currently, years of good judgment are not treated the same as years of bad behaviour. Alberta’s current system aims to keep the bar high by providing consequences for unsafe driving choices. Each year, 20% of accidents in Alberta are caused by speed and aggressive highway driving. Common sense says we must maintain a safe system with deterrents for careless drivers. Fairness says that good drivers should not subsidise the poor choices of bad drivers.
On the other hand, a no-fault system means that bad drivers have no consequences. If one hits you, it doesn’t matter—no one’s “at fault”, as there is no fault and no liability. You get scars. The other guy? He gets a walk. That’s just NOT FAIR!
The premise behind this move for no-fault is that the insurance company you are with covers the damage, rather than the driver at fault – so if someone hits your vehicle, your insurance company will fix it while the other driver deals with their insurance company. This penalises good drivers, as we have to pay for the bad drivers to keep their vehicles on the road.
No-fault insurance makes bad drivers less accountable for their actions and decisions. No-fault protects bad drivers. This kind of system enables careless, bad drivers to stay on the road since there are little to no consequences for bad behaviour.
What you can do
Contact your local representative
Let your voice be heard. Send a letter to your MLA and the Minister of Finance.
Share your Story
We want to know your accident story. Were you able to secure fair compensation? What happened? How do you feel about the potential loss of protections if Albertans can no longer sue at-fault drivers?
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Injured Albertans Speak Out
Please understand that insurance must continue to support those who are truly injured. We need your voice to support us. Please speak up on this issue.
I knew when I woke up and the feeling of fogginess, inability to focus, feeling unable to connect with what as going on around me, that I had another concussion. My first concussion had been four years earlier and I hadn’t fully recovered, but I was better in so many ways. I was finally starting to regain some of the abilities that I had lost, and now…
Life now, is hard. I spent years working on my career finding direction and discovering how to best apply my interests and talents. I finally discovered that I excelled at project management. I was organized and communicated well. I had a background in design and manufacturing controlled budgets of $56M, and now I can’t organize how to make simple phone calls to plan my medical appointments. I have lost abilities in concentration and three-dimensional thinking. I feel I no longer possess the skills that made me such a great project manager, and now I’m struggling to figure what I can I do.
I haven’t been back to work since my accident. I have been home with my children trying to get well enough to go back to work, or school, or something, but I can’t seem to keep up with the bad days. I can only remember one good day in the past four years. I’m so tired of trying to seem mostly ‘normal’ that simple frustrations set me off and I can’t claw back control my emotions. I feel like I’m missing out on my life, my children’s lives. I feel I have everything I could possibly ask for, but I lack the ability to enjoy it. Suffering multiple brain injuries has me left with a fatigue I can never get enough sleep for, an anxiety I can’t escape from, and an apathy to my own life. A concussion can be life-impacting. My life was impacted.
As a former insurance adjuster and with over a decade of experience working on motor vehicle accident bodily injury claims, I have long been well aware that thousands of Albertans each year are injured by careless motorists. With prompt and appropriate treatment, many recover within about 12 weeks in which case, quite frankly, compensation for pain and suffering in the $5,000.00 to $5,500.00 range is reasonable.
However, I am also well aware (now painfully so) that many other wrongfully injured Albertans suffer traumatic injuries in auto accidents that evolve into chronic pain conditions. I am one of those Albertans. Whether I eventually recover from these injuries or end up with permanent clinical impairment remains to be seen, but either way it’s common sense (and common law) that I deserve to be compensated for my pain by the negligent driver’s insurer at a figure well in excess of the minor injury cap, which was always intended only to apply to people suffering minor strains and sprains that healed relatively quickly, ie., within 90 days or so.
The whole point of insurance is that a community of millions (myself included) chips in some money in the form of premiums so that there is a pool of funds available to compensate the thousands of ordinary Albertans (me too, unfortunately) who are injured each year by negligent motorists. Apparently, insurance companies would rather continue to rake in premiums from consumers like me, but pocket that cash rather than having to fully compensate innocent injured Albertans for our pain and suffering — but that wouldn’t be fair, now would it?
About FAIR Alberta Injury Regulations
FAIR Alberta is a coalition of concerned consumers, medical professionals, injured Albertans, and members of the legal community who are committed to protecting the rights of individuals that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.