The lawyers at James H. Brown and Associates have observed a growing trend. Insurance companies stringing along unrepresented injured claimants, and pressuring settlements at the claim's deadline.
“We’ve been hearing from an increasing number of injured claimants who fit this profile” said Wally Nashman, Lawyer at James H. Brown and Associates.
“In many instances we have claimants who are still receiving treatments for chronic pain, and are being pressured to settle by adjusters because of the approaching limitation date. It’s very difficult for a lawyer to assist these individuals so late in the process, however we still do our best to file the necessary documents in court to preserve their rights”.
Individuals injured in Alberta usually must file their claim in court within two years according to the Limitations Act.
Nashman also added that what’s even a greater concern is that many of these unrepresented individuals are being convinced by insurance adjusters that their injuries fall under the minor injury cap legislation. “That’s not always the case. Recent case law clarified that people suffering from certain types of injuries, and people suffering chronic pain, can fall outside the capped compensation under the minor injury regulation. Unfortunately this information isn’t making it to those affected and they often end up settling their own claims for amounts far lower than they should have.”
Government officials have also expressed concerns recently regarding aggressive practices by the Insurance industry. So much so, that the Superintendent of Insurance issued a Bulletin last month warning that insurance companies denying automobile accident total disability benefits unnecessarily is an “unfair act, or practice” holding that the insurer may be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 for each instance.
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Trent Brown, B.A., LL.B.
James H. Brown & Associates