No-Fault means No Fairness
It doesn’t only happen to others.
Each year 27,000 Albertans are victims of aggressive driving. If you are one of those, you already know how awful and unfair a no-fault insurance system is. If you are not, you should care about those who are because one day, and you could be one of them.
What does no-fault mean?
What would happen to Albertans if they get in a severe car crash
Imagine that you are severely injured. A “no-fault” system removes your right to sue for pain and suffering compensation. Instead, there is a cookie-cutter benefits schedule for injuries, which puts a fixed dollar amount to your injury. The insurance has a whole set of rules and limits on how much therapy, how many visits you are entitled to. You would then go through your insurance max-out quickly, then your savings, then pretty much everything you have.
Insurance companies make their money when claims costs (the cost of your injury compensation – your benefits) are kept low. In a “no-fault” system, your insurance company decides where you fit on that benefits schedule; they call all the shots. They don’t have to listen to you, your doctor, or the courts. What they say goes.
But if my premiums are lower, it’s worth it, no?
A lot of people seem dazzled by the fact that insurance rates might come down, even though the insurance companies are already hedging on that idea.
When, in the past, has any promise by insurance companies to lower rates proved to be a long-term truth? The tangible benefits of no-fault to the insurance industry are clear; the ones to the Alberta consumers are still foggy. There’s a reason for that.
A society should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. The 27,000 car crash victims in this province who need help walking, eating or even going to the bathroom should get a voice in this. Many of them are begging and pleading to keep the system that gave them a second chance at life.
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.