Resolving a personal injury claim from a car accident can take anywhere from one year to three years or more, depending upon the severity of the victim’s injuries. That’s time during which the plaintiff (victim) does not have use of the money owed to her to compensate for her medical treatment, lost wages, pain and future costs and losses. The money the plaintiff is (potentially) owed remains with the insurance company, where it’s used to gather interest or increase the insurance company’s profits.

Some insurance companies have argued that the new, lower PJI rates should apply to all unresolved motor vehicle personal injury claims, even if the accident occurred before 2015, when the PJI rate amendments took effect.  Currently, the law is unsettled as to whether the lower PJI rate is retroactive to accidents that occurred before Jan. 1, 2015.  Until an appellate court, such as the Ontario Court Appeal, decides the issue, insurance companies and plaintiff lawyers will continue to disagree on whether the rate change is retroactive. The Ontario Court of Appeal is expected to rule on this issue sometime in 2017.

Despite the new legislation that establishes the lower PJI rate, Ontario Courts can still adjust it using their own discretion, depending upon either party’s efforts to delay or speed up the legal process. The court can ignore PJI, increase or decrease the percentage as it sees fit.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need expert representation now more than ever. Thousands of dollars are at stake under the Insurance Act’s amendment and the Courts are still deciding how to award money. Don’t take chances with the settlement that you deserve for your personal injuries and other damages. You can trust the experienced lawyers at Mackesy Smye to ensure you receive the judgement or settlement you deserve.

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