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New Legislation Makes it More Difficult to Sue Public Transportation

The "Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act" is a set of laws designed to help make the Province of Ontario safer. But there are provisions in the Act that also protect the Province from lawsuits that result from problems on public transport. There are several situations where a person used to be able to sue for disability support while riding public transport. Those situations included:

  • Another vehicle collides with the public transportation vehicle
  • The public transportation vehicle collides with another vehicle
  • The public transportation vehicle collides with a stationery object
  • The driver comes to a sudden stop that results in passenger injury

In all of these cases, injured parties have tried to prove that a driver was at fault. In the case of a vehicle striking a public transportation vehicle, the public transportation driver could be found not to be at fault, and the injured passengers would have to go after the driver of the negligent vehicle to recover damages and get disability benefits.

Schedule 21 of the "Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act" has implications on the "Ontario Insurance Act" that affect people who use public transportation. One of the biggest changes is that injuries that result from a sudden stop initiated by the driver of a public transportation vehicle are no longer eligible for accident benefits.

In the past, people who rode public transportation were able to get extensive accident benefits even though there was no actual collision. With these changes to the law, now there must be a collision with a public transportation vehicle before an accident victim can claim accident benefits. If there is no collision, then there can be no accident benefits claim.

Another change that this legislation brings is that the driver of a public transportation vehicle that is involved in a crash is not a protected defendant anymore. That means that if there is a collision, then the accident victims can now bring a tort claim for pain and suffering without having to worry about their injuries having to meet a certain level of seriousness, or without a significant deductible being applied.

 

For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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