Time To Consider Buying “Optional” No-Fault Benefits

I often see how important accessing no-fault benefits can be for my clients so that they can achieve maximum medical recovery in the shortest period possible.  No one likes to pay for car insurance. carPeople like it less if they’ve been injured in a car accident and discover that they do not have enough insurance.  You owe it to yourself and your family to familiarize yourself with the reductions to the standard accident benefits and the amount and cost of the available optional benefits and buy the insurance benefits you need to protect yourself and your family members.

Did You Know: The standard no-fault accident benefits have been drastically reduced?

You may not know it but your automobile insurance benefits were substantially reduced on June 1, 2016. The reductions are significant but a survey conducted by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario revealed that only 42% of consumers had even heard about the changes and less than 20% could actually identify what those changes were. Everyone in Ontario who buys auto insurance needs to know the extent of the reductions and what optional benefits are available to maintain their current level of coverage.

What are the most significant reductions?

The following is a brief summary of the reductions to standard accident benefits:

Policies issued before June 1, 2016 provided $50,000 in Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits and an additional $36,000 for Attendant Care Benefits for non-catastrophic injuries. These two types of benefits have now been combined and reduced to a total of $65,000. For many injured people the reduced combined total will mean having to choose between receiving necessary healthcare and rehabilitation treatments or accessing attendant care. There will simply not be enough money to cover all of these expenses with only $65,000 available for both.

Prior to June 1, 2016, people who suffered the most serious “catastrophic” injuries could access $1 million for Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits and an additional $1 million for Attendant Care Benefits. These benefits have been effectively cut in half as there is now a new combined total of only $1 million. This means that the most seriously injured accident victims have lost $1 million in standard coverage.

How do you make sure you have the right coverage?

It is very important that you speak with your insurance company, broker or salesperson and familiarize yourself with the benefit reductions so that you can make an informed decision about the amount of coverage you need to protect yourself and your family. You can do this by purchasing “optional” benefits at an additional cost.

Optional Benefits

You should seriously consider purchasing optional benefits. The steady erosion of the standard no-fault benefits over the past 20 years means that the reduced limits are no longer adequate for most of us if we are seriously injured. This means that, when you renew your policy, you must investigate the available optional benefits and purchase the right options to meet your specific needs. If your renewal is several months away I suggest you contact your insurance intermediary and arrange a meeting to discuss your Optional Benefit needsnow and not wait for your renewal. We never know when we are going to be in an accident.

I expect that you will find that upgrading your protection by buying optional benefits is relatively inexpensive.

Based on available information, it seems that increasing the combined Medical/Rehabilitation and Attendant Care limit for non-catastrophic injuries from $65,000 to $130,000 may cost less than $50 a year. Increasing this coverage to the maximum available of $1 million may cost under $70 a year. Increasing coverage for catastrophic injury from $1 million to $2 million may only cost about $40 a year. You may find that for about $150 a year you can increase your coverage to the maximum now available.  And, believe me, if you or a member of your family is catastrophically injured in a car accident you will consider it $150 well spent.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

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Ten Mistakes People Make When Dealing With Doctors After an Injury

If you have experienced a traumatic injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall you will no doubt end up seeing one or more doctors perhaps on multiple occasions. Here are 10 mistakes people who have experienced a traumatic injury make when dealing with tDoctor Meeting With Mature Male Patient In Exam Roomheir doctors.

1.    Failing to Seek Immediate Medial Attention After a Traumatic Event

The victim is always responsible for proving that he or she was injured in a particular incident.  Insurance companies and juries often believe that if you aren’t hurt badly enough to seek immediate medical attention, you aren’t hurt badly enough to deserve compensation.  Don’t ignore signs of pain, even small ones.  See a doctor as soon as possible, as minor injuries can always get worse.  You don’t want the first words the insurance lawyer says to the jury to be, “she didn’t even see a doctor for two weeks.”

2.    Failing to Fully Disclose Your Health History and Habits to Your Doctor

A health care provider will usually ask if you had any injury or sickness before your current problem.  It is important to be honest when answering this type of question.  Doctors use past medical history to diagnose and treat you.  Providing incomplete information can have an impact on the quality of the medical care you receive.  Concealing prior injury or sickness from your doctor will also hurt your legal case.  If you provide your doctors with incomplete information, their medical opinions could be rejected by insurance companies and juries.  The same advice goes for describing the accident.  Don’t tell your doctor the car was “totalled” if it was only scratched.  The insurance company’s lawyer will attack your credibility with that contradiction.

3.    Talking With Your Doctor About Lawsuits or a Lawyer’s Advice

A doctor’s job is to focus on your medical condition.  In order to do that job, a doctor does not have to know about your lawsuit or your lawyer.  Sharing your legal issues or concerns with a medicalcare provider should be unnecessary.  Many doctors do not want to be involved in a lawsuit.  If you tell a doctor he or she is treating an injury that is the subject of a lawsuit, it could affect their willingness to provide treatment.  Remember that whatever you say in confidence to a doctor is not confidential at all once you file a personal injury claim. The doctor’s notes will likely have to be shared with the insurance company’s lawyer and it help your case if they contain information you gave to your doctor about your lawsuit or your  lawyer’s advice.

4.    Missing or Showing up Late for Medical Appointments

Insurance companiesand juries get to see your medical records.  When you skip a medical appointment, your record just says “DNS”, which means “did not show”.  Excuses – no matter how valid – usually do not make it into the record.  More than one or two “DNS” entries could make it look like you were not committed to getting better.  Skipping medical appointments or showing up late could also irritate your doctor.  Irritated doctors do not make good witnesses for their patients.  If you need to cancel – call in advance and reschedule.  You don’t want the insurance company’s lawyer saying, “It must not have hurt that much, she didn’t even show up for her appointments.”

5.    Failing to Get Your Pain Accurately Documented in Medical Records

Insurance companies and juries may not believe that you are in pain just because you say so.  They need to read about your pain in your medical records.  When insurance companies and juries review your records, they will be looking to see how soon you reported pain after an injury and how long you continued to report that pain.  One effective way to help make sure your specific pain and limitations do make their way into a busy doctor’s chart is to write it out beforehand and give it to him at your office visit.  Again, don’t exaggerate. And keep a copy of your note to give to your lawyer.

6.    Failing to inform Your Doctor if Your Injury is Affecting Your Ability to Work

Insurance companies and juries may not believe that your injury affects your ability to work just because you say so.  If your injury is affecting your ability to work, it is important to mention such a problem to your health care provider.  Work problems caused by injury may be treatable and they should be noted in your medical records.  Again, keeping notes that you give to the doctor at your office visits is a good idea.

7.    Failing to Take Medications as Prescribed

There is a reason why doctors prescribe a particular type of medication for a particular time period.  You should follow your doctor’s recommendation until your doctor tells you something different.  If you think a medication is making your muscles ache or your stomach hurt, say so; side effects are not rare, and your doctor can usually switch you to another drug.  Don’t put yourself in the position where you have to admit that you chose not to follow your doctor’s advice.  This can be very harmful to your case.

8.    Stopping Medical Treatment Too Soon

Insurance companies and juries often believe if a person stops seeking medical treatment for an injury, the injury must be healed.  They also believe that significant gaps between treatments suggest that you healed from one injury and must have suffered a new one unrelated to the first.  If you have an injury that is affecting your ability to function, you should seek medical treatment until you are healed or until a doctor tells you that there is nothing more that can be done to improve your condition.  If you are still suffering and your doctor tells you to “come back as needed” or “call me if you have any problems”, you should ask how long you should wait to call if you continue to have the same level of pain and disability.

 9.    Failing to Follow Treatment recommendations Related to Depression or Anxiety

Often pain and/or disability trigger depression and/or anxiety.  Psychological conditions like depression and anxiety are just as real as broken bones.  They cannot be overcome without appropriate treatment.  A person who causes another person physical injury is also responsible for resulting psychological conditions.  Insurance companies and juries usually only compensate victims of injury-related depression and anxiety if those conditions are properly diagnosed and treated by medical professionals.

 10.    Failing to Keep a File

 It is important that your lawyer knows every medical care provider that you see after an injury.  It is also important that you keep track of all doctor orders, treatment referrals and/or work restrictions.  Keeping a file of all materials provided to you by health care providers and insurance companies will ensure that you can provide all necessary information to your lawyer at the appropriate time.

Conclusion

After a motor vehicle, accident or slip and fall it is important to consult a medical doctor if there is any chance that you have suffered an injury. Providing any doctors you see with complete and accurate information and following any treatment recommendations will not only increase your chances of maximum medical recovery it will also increase your  chances of maximizing your financial recovery in any subsequent law suit.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

You were injured in a car accident in the USA, what should you do?

Canadians travel to the United States regularly and in the winter months “snowbirds” flock to the southern states in their cars. Seldom do these motorists consider what it would mean if they were injureMiami highwayd in a car accident during their trip. Each year, many Canadians are involved in car accidents while travelling in the US. Bringing a claim for compensation after a US car accident can involve complex issues such as where a civil action should be started and which jurisdiction’s laws will apply.

If you are from Ontario and are involved in an accident in the United States, you may be able to commence an action in Ontario, in the state in which the accident occurred, or both. Your right to do so will depend upon several factors, including what insurance is available to the parties involved and the particular facts of each case.

How Jurisdiction is Determined in Ontario

Determining whether an Ontario Court has jurisdiction to hear your action involves a two-part test. First, the Court will determine if there are any “presumptive connecting factors” linking the lawsuit to Ontario. If you wish to have your case heard in Ontario, it is your responsibility to demonstrate the existence of one or more of these connecting factors.

The Supreme Court of Canada established the following four presumptive connecting factors:

1.     The wrongful act was committed in the province;

2.     The defendant lives in or is a resident of the province;

3.     The defendant carries on business in the province; and,

4.     A contract connected with the dispute was made in the province.

If Ontario is found to have jurisdiction over an action, the second part of the test considers whether or not Ontario is the most convenient place for the lawsuit. This is referred to as “forum non conveniens” and is based on an understanding that courts have the power to decline to hear an action in appropriate circumstances in order to assure fairness to the parties and the efficient resolution of the dispute. The Court may consider issues such as the difficulty or inconvenience of having to pursue litigation outside of Ontario or if you require ongoing medical attention in Ontario. The opposing party will have the burden of showing that another forum is clearly more appropriate than Ontario.

Is My Case Worth Less in Other Jurisdictions?

We have all heard of the large jury awards handed out in the USA. Unfortunately, many States require only minimal auto insurance coverage for their drivers. Therefore, if you are injured in the U.S., your access to the other driver’ss insurance may be limited even if your damages are much higher. Fortunately, you may still be able to recover additional compensation under the Family Protection Endorsement (OCPF-44R) in your own auto insurance policy. This coverage may increase your protection against uninsured or underinsured US drivers. You may also be entitled to receive accident benefits through your own policy.

Be Aware of Limitation Periods

The law of the place where the accident occurred is the law which determines who is at fault for an accident. This law also determines the time within which you must bring your action (the “limitation period”) as against the at-fault driver. American limitation periods are often shorter than the periods that apply in Ontario. Therefore it is crucial to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. If you miss the U.S. limitation period, you may not be able to bring an action in Ontario.

Assess Your Insurance Needs

It is also important to discuss your auto and travel insurance needs with your agent before travelling outside of Ontario. You may need travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical bills while in the US. You may want to increase your auto insurance limits and purchase optional accident benefits in order to protect yourself against the often in adequate insurance carried by US motorists.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

Drone Operators Risk Criminal Charges & Lawsuits

Did you get a drone for Christmas? Well before you start flying it around the neighbourhood or at the local park there are a few tdrone-1080844_960_720hings you need to know about the laws that govern drone operators.

I recommend that anyone intending to fly a drone in Ontario take a community college course to ensure that they are aware of and understand the regulations governing drone operations and the laws that protect privacy. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” and the urge to get out and play with your new “toy” before you fully understand your potential legal liability could land you and your drone in court and possibly jail.

Drones can fly almost anywhere, often have cameras and video capability, and may be able to instantaneously transmit images back to the operator. There are criminal laws against stalking, mischief, criminal harassment and voyeurism that may apply to a drone operator taking images of another person without their consent.

In addition to criminal charges drone operators also face the risk of being sued for privacy breaches because of the tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”. Privacy breaches can make the operator personally liable if they meet four criteria established by the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2012 in the case of Jones v. Tsige.

Ms. Jones and Ms. Tsige worked at a bank. Jones was also a bank customer. Tsige accessed and reviewed Jones’ bank records. Jones sued Tsige and the Ontario Court of Appeal, in finding in favour of Jones, established personal liability for “intrusion upon seclusion”. The Court set out 4 criteria that have to be met in order for there to be liability for “intrusionon seclusion”:

First, the offending conduct must be “intentional”, which may include reckless actions.

Second, the offender must have “invaded, without lawful justification, the (other party’s) private affairs or concerns”.

Third, “a reasonable person would regard the invasion as highly offensive causing distress, humiliation or anguish.”

Fourth, the claimant must have “suffered some anguish” because of the action.

The Court put a $20,000 cap on damages for “intrusion upon seclusion” and awarded Ms. Jones $10,000.

I have found 110 reported case decisions that include the phrase “intrusion upon seclusion” so it has gotten a lot of judicial attention since it was “created” by the Court of Appeal in 2012.

There have also been some cases involving property damage or personal injury caused by drones. In order for the party suffering the damage or injury to recover damages from the drone operator they must establish the 3 requirements of negligence:

First, there must be a duty of care owed by the drone operator to the aggrieved party. It is reasonable to assume the court will find that such a duty of care is owed to anyone who is at risk of injury by unsafe operation of the drone.

Second, it must be established that the standard of care that applies to drone operators was not met. An issue that is still undecided is what that “standard of care” is. Will the court apply the existing aviation regulations and Transport Canada publications that establish the knowledge requirement for aircraft pilots? Or will it be a lesser standard based on the drone operators courses offered at many community colleges?

Third, the claimant must show that the breach of the standard of care caused the personal injury or property damage. This should not difficult to establish if the drone has crash landed causing property damage or personal injury.

Drones are a popular “toy” but they come with the potential to invade the privacy of other people or to cause serious property damage and personal injuries. Everyone contemplating operating a drone needs to ensure that they know how to operate it safely and within the restrictions imposed by both the criminal law and the laws protecting privacy, property and persona well-being.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

 

Leaving The Country This Winter? Do You Have Travel Insurance?

Did you know that, if you are travelling outside of Canada, you will not be covered by OHIP in the case of a medical emergency?  Even if you manage to get some OHIP coverage it will be limited and you should not expect that it will pay for your medical bills in another country.  If you want coverage for medical emergencies or illnesses while travelling abroad, you will need to buy travel insurance.  This type of insurance is available to cover unexpected expenses, such as an emergency hospital visit or medical treatment while you are travelling.

The coverage available through travel insurance may differ from policy to policy depending on the company that issues it. One thing that all insurance policies have in common is exclusions.  There are several exclusions that travel insurers typically include in their policies.  The main exclusion found in virtually all travel insurance is for “pre-existing conditions”.  A pre‑existing condition will be defined differently in different policies.  You will need to read the policy wording carefully to determine what it defines as a pre‑existing condition.  A common definition is “a medical condition that exists before your effective date of insurance”.  Pre‑existing conditions can include disease, illness, injury, complications due to pregnancy and mental or emotional disorders.

While some policies will exclude all coverage for pre-existing conditions, others will only offer limited coverage if a pre‑existing condition requires treatment. It is important to read the fine print very carefully before selecting a travel insurance policy so that you know what is considered a “pre‑existing condition” and what coverage is available should you experience medical problems because of a pre‑existing condition.

Other common exclusions found in travel insurance are:

  • “High risk” activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, etc.;
  • Self-inflicted injuries or suicide;
  • Treatment for substance abuse such as drug or alcohol dependency;
  • Excluded destinations, especially those under travel advisories;
  • Maximum payments; these vary from policy to policy. There may be a financial “cap” for individual fees or total coverage. There may be “co‑insurance” which only pays for a percentage of the total cost;
  • Time limits may be set out in the policy so if you end up staying longer than anticipated you may need to extend your travel insurance or buy a new policy.

You may already have some form of travel insurance through your group health plan at work, a credit card, or a professional association. You should review your policy carefully before you leave Canada to ensure that you are aware of any exclusions it contains.  You may wish to buy additional travel insurance.

Finding yourself in a foreign country after an injury or illness without sufficient travel insurance can make a bad situation worse. It may be worthwhile consulting a lawyer to review the fine print of a travel insurance policy.  If you have already purchased the policy, or if you have travel insurance through a group health plan, it may also be worthwhile having a lawyer review the exclusions in it so that you are fully informed of the coverage that you have or, more importantly, do not have.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

Court Of Appeal Clarifies Collateral Benefits Issues

There has been a steady reduction in the damages that innocent motor vehicle accident victims recover from the at fault driver. The Ontario Government, working with the insurance industry, has been passing more and more restrictive laws and regulations to cut down on damage awards to innocent accident victims. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released two decisions that will have a significant negative impact on the amount of money innocent car accident victims will be able to recover from at fault drivers.

COA1In El-Khodr v. Lackie the innocent driver, Mr. El-Khodr, was seriously injured when the tow truck he was operating was rear-ended. Following a trial the jury awarded him damages totaling $2,931,006.

The trial judge had instructed the jury to regard the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan as a “contingency” meaning that it was not certain that the plan would still exist in 2028, the year in which Mr. El-Khodr would turn age 65 and first qualify for it. The Court of Appeal held that judge should have instructed the jury to award damages based on the law as it existed and that the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan should not be considered a “contingency”. Mr. El-Khodr would be eligible under the plan at age 65, and therefore the at fault party’s insurance company should only be required to pay for Mr. El-Khodr drug expenses until he turned 65.

Mr. El-Khodr qualified for life long benefits from his own insurance company (so called “collateral benefits”) because he was found to have suffered “catastrophic” injuries. The trial judge did not order Mr. El-Khodr to turn over (assign) these future benefits to the defendant’s insurance company. Several previous cases had required a strict “matching” between the types of damage recovered by the innocent party and the specific type collateral benefit he received before there could be such an assignment. The questions the jury had been asked to answer about the Mr. El-Khodr future damages did not identify each type of damage and the amount awarded for it. This meant that the required “matching” of the damages awarded at trial and future collateral benefits was not possible in this case.

The Court of Appeal held that in the case of Mr. El-Khodr it was not necessary to match both the specific kind of damages awarded by the jury with a specific kind of future collateral benefit. It was also not necessary to match the time when the future damage expense would be incurred with when the collateral insurance benefit would be available (“strict qualitative and temporal matching requirements should not be applied”). It held that “matching” was not necessary because Mr. El-Khodr was entitled to his other future collateral benefits for life. This meant that the jury’s damage award included all future expenses that would be paid by Mr. El-Khodr’s own insurance company as collateral benefits. This meant that if there was no assignment of the future benefits which Mr. El-Khodr received for medication, assistive devices and professional services, he would be over-compensated. His receipt of both damages after the trial and future collateral benefits for the same expenses would constitute double recovery.  

The Court of Appeal ordered that any collateral benefits received by Mr. El-Khodr for future medication, assistive devices, professional services (psychological, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, kinesiology/ personal training, case management), and travel to medical or other specialist were assigned to the at fault driver’s insurance company.

 The assignment of future collateral insurance benefits will significantly reduce the “net” amount of money Mr. El-Khodr and all other innocent accident victims will recover from all sources. Instead of using future collateral benefits to cover these expenses he will have to give the money to the at fault driver’s insurance company.

In Cobb v. Long Estate, Mr. Cobb suffered chronic pain that prevented him from working and performing household tasks. A jury awarded $220,000 in damages but after deducting the collateral benefits Mr. Cobb received from his own insurance company and the statutory deductible for damages for pain and suffering, the judge calculated a final judgment amount of $34,000.

Prior to the trial Mr. Cobb had entered into a final lump sum settlement with his own insurance company of his collateral benefits  including his Income Replacement Benefit. The correspondence between the insurer and Mr. Cobb’s lawyer regarding the settlement did not indicate that any portion of the $130,000 settlement was being made for any reason other than to compensate for his income loss.  The court decided that the entire $130,000 was to be deducted from the damages the jury awarded Mr. Cobb for loss of both past and future income.

The Court of Appeal also said that it was proper to deduct the entire $9,150 that Cobb received from his own insurance company for housekeeping from the jury’s awards for past and future loss under this heading of damages. It found that there was no reason to distinguish between past and future losses where the insurance company had not done so in the settlement.

In order to ensure that appropriate “matching” of benefits and assignment occurs plaintiffs’ lawyers must present their clients’ damage claims according to the categories of collateral benefits available form their own insurance companies. They should make one claim for past and future losses that have collateral insurance coverage and a separate claim for any past and future losses that do not have other coverage. In cases involving non-catastrophic injuries, the presentation of the claim should account for the both the monetary and time limits on benefits available to their client under their own insurance policy.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

Court Of Appeal Clarifies Pre-Judgment Interest Rate

Insurance companies use their long experience paying out claims, including the payment Appealof pre-judgment interest, in setting premium rates. Premiums are based on the pre-judgment interest rate in force at the time they are paid. It can take several years for a complex motor vehicle accident that results in serious injuries, to wind its way through the litigation process. During that time period the insurance company has the benefit of the investments it made with the at fault driver’s insurance premium. It seems unfair to penalize an injured party by retroactively applying a lower interest rate to their damages for pain and suffering when the insurer reasonably expected to pay a higher rate when it set and collected the premium from the at fault driver.

In 2015 we published several blogs on the interest rate that should apply to claims for pain and suffering in motor vehicle accident cases. Our most recent blog on August 24, 2015 ended with the Statement that “we will have to await the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario for a final determination of this question.” Well the Court of Appeal has now spoken.

In El-Khodr v. Lackie the innocent driver, Mr. El-Khodr, was seriously injured when the tow truck he was operating was rear-ended. Following a trial the jury awarded Mr. El-Khodr damages totaling $2,931,006 of which $89,167 was pre-judgment interest on general damages for his pain and suffering. The trial judge had decided that prejudgment interest on the general damages should be calculated at 5 per cent (the rate that was in effect prior to January 1, 2015 when the pre-judgment interest rate was reduced by an amendment to s. 258.3(8.1) of the Insurance Act).

The Court of Appeal decided that the reduced interest rate was effective from the day the amendment to s. 258.3(8.1) of the Insurance Act came into force. The reduced rate applied to all actions that had been started before the amendment. As a result, the interest rate to be applied on Mr. El-Khodr’s general damages was 2.5 per cent. As a result of the reduction in the interest rate the interest on his general damages should have been $44,583 and not the $89,167 awarded by the trial judge.

In Cobb v. Long Estate, the plaintiff Cobb suffered chronic pain that prevented him from working and performing household tasks. A jury awarded him $220,000 in damages but after deducting other insurance benefits Cobb had received and a statutory deductible that applied to general damages, the judge calculated a final judgment amount of $34,000.

When addressing the issue of pre-judgment interest on general damages the trial judge did not decide whether the amendment in s. 258.3(8.1) which reduced the rate of prejudgment interest for pain and suffering from five percent applied retrospectively. Instead, the trial judge exercised the discretion he was given by s. 130 of the Courts of Justice Act and set the prejudgment interest rate at three percent.

The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge properly exercised the discretion he had to set the rate of pre-judgment interest payable on the general damages awarded to Cobb and did not apply the lower statutory rate.

Edward (Ted) Masters is a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa with over 35 years of experience representing those seriously injured in car accidents. He can be contacted by his direct phone number, 613-566-2064, or by email at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.