Darcy Merkur appears on Global News to discuss accident insurance reform in Ontario

Posted July 8, 2019
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On July 5, 2019, Thomson Rogers’ trauma lawyer Darcy Merkur was interviewed by Global News reporter, Catherine McDonald, on a case involving a couple, Bella De Bartolo and Ben Schenk, whose car was struck by a flying tire from a southbound SUV.  Ben Schenk suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Darcy, who does not represent Schenk and De Bartolo but who works at the same firm as the couple’s lawyer (Craig Brown) comments on how the June 2016 Ontario auto insurance reforms make it harder for those who have been seriously injured to qualify for accident benefits, he says:
Victims of serious motor vehicle collisions unfortunately have to wait sometimes for as long as 18 months after an accident before they find out if their injuries are designated catastrophic.
And then when our assessors conclude that they believe they meet the test, then the insurance company notoriously has their own assessors re-evaluate matters, which causes a further delay. It takes typically a year and a half before they get the designation where before June 1, 2016, it would take a matter of weeks.
Darcy recommends every driver in Ontario get optional benefits to add to their basic coverage.

Serious accident victims have roughly one-third of the money available to them, compared to what they used to have in 1996. It’s delayed to access and then you have a third to what you need. Regular car insurance is not enough to cover your needs if you’re seriously injured. And it should be. It should be designed to provide the bare minimum of what you need. The erosion of benefits since 1996 has been so devastating.