Wondering why “No-Fault Auto Insurance” is a hot topic of debate in Alberta? While the province has no immediate plans to implement a no-fault system, it has been a significant point of consideration over the past few years by the government. For motorists across Alberta, knowing what no-fault would mean for drivers and accidents is essential when it comes to ensuring you’re protected in the event of a serious personal injury.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the ins and outs of no-fault and what you need to know to make sure you’re ready to fight for fair compensation when it matters most. Read on to learn more!
What Does a No-Fault Model Mean?
First things first, let’s address one of the most common misconceptions with regards to “no-fault” auto insurance; despite the name, “no-fault” does not mean that no one is at fault in the event of an accident or collision. What it does mean, however, is that when an accident occurs, drivers are each assigned a percentage of fault.
Furthermore, under a no-fault system, injured parties are not able to sue the at-fault driver for their pain, suffering, loss of work, a decline in quality of life, or future healthcare costs. In effect, no-fault insurance places your insurance company in a position that gives them the ability to discern what level of care you “actually” require, set stricter limits on how much they’re willing to pay for lost wages, and more unfair factors that affect your claim. For those facing the reality of recovery following a serious accident, this loss of equitable decision-making and fair access to the necessary funds to recovery (not just a predetermined sum) should be concerning and cause for further evaluation.
Why Would the Government Consider No-Fault?
In theory, the most attractive part of no-fault insurance is that it removes ambiguity and streamlines the payout process for automobile accidents. On the surface, this certainly seems appealing (after all, anyone who’s been in an accident can attest to how frustrating and long it can be/take to receive a settlement), however in practice, it leaves those that are already vulnerable due to an injury in a delicate position that may result in them receiving inadequate funds they need to cover the cost of the complete recover. It has been argued that no-fault systems also run the risk of negating the typical cause-effect measures that deter drivers from making poor decisions and leave motorists at a disadvantage due to someone else’s mistake or negligence.
While the upfront appeal of faster payouts may seem worthwhile, the realities of a no-fault style system are far more complex and require significant investigation to determine whether or not such a model would truly benefit Albertans in the long term.
Will Alberta Ever Switch to No-Fault Insurance?
At this time, the simple answer is: we don’t know.
The Government of Alberta is currently reviewing Alberta’s auto insurance system, with no-fault insurance being one of the options they are considering, but there are no immediate plans to make any significant changes as of the time of this posting. It is also worth noting that the Insurance industry remains heavily in favour of no-fault insurance as they believe it will save money on payouts. Rather than seeing each injury as a personal tragedy for those afflicted, the focus becomes strictly financial, which can lead to poor results for everyone.
Can I Add My Voice to Considerations?
For those concerned about the prospect of no-fault insurance coming to Alberta, visit FAIR Alberta to learn more about how you can help protect accident victims and their families from unfair insurance practices.
As a reminder/reassurance, as of early 2023, there are no plans to change to a no-fault system. Alberta’s current system still allows accident victims to fight for their right to fair compensation, and partnering with a skilled injury law firm like James H. Brown and Associates is one of the best ways to ensure you’re protected when it matters most.
Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?
Sound legal advice is the first step on the road to justice. At James H. Brown and Associates, we make it fast and easy to access the legal advice you need, starting today.
Unlike many large law firms in Alberta, James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers are ready to speak with you right away. No call centres, no intake teams, just the expert legal advice you and your family need.
Contact us today to speak with a lawyer and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates.