Atlantic Insurance Counsel – Winter 2014
PEI Auto Accident Benefits – Behind the Times No More
Significant changes are coming to the standard automobile policy in Prince Edward Island (“PEI”), including increases to the accident benefits available under Section B and an increase to the so-called “cap” for minor personal injury.
In the fall 2013 sitting of the provincial legislature, the government introduced a bill that would make significant changes to PEI’s accident benefits, cap and definition of “minor personal injury”, with some of these changes being consistent with what has been done in Nova Scotia and others being consistent with prior changes in New Brunswick.
In September 2012, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador released two concurrent decisions related to a collision between a pedestrian on a crosswalk and an unknown vehicle. The first decision, Tucker v. Unknown Person, dismissed the plaintiff’s application to add his own automobile insurer as a defendant to the action. In the second decision, Tucker v. AXA Insurance, the Court dismissed Tucker’s direct action against his own automobile insurer for Section D policy benefits as the limitation period had expired.
Most Canadian provinces have specific legislation dealing with procedural requirements that must be followed when bringing lawsuits against the Crown. In Nova Scotia, that legislation is the Proceedings Against the Crown Act (“PACA”). Exactly what constitutes a “proceeding against the Crown” is broad, and includes claims made by set-off or counterclaim. Even where the Crown initiates a lawsuit, PACA will apply if the defendant countersues or defends on the basis that it owes the Crown less due to a set-off (i.e. because the Crown owes the defendant something as well).
Of late, juries in Nova Scotia have taken quite a beating. Over the past couple of years, courts have been more and more likely to strike jury notices on the basis that the issues are too complex for the average citizen. Despite the view that juries are simply not as equipped to handle complex legal claims as a judge, recent experience with a jury trial proved otherwise.
Oftentimes, litigation involves multiple tortfeasors. The apportionment of damages between multiple tortfeasors relies on the degree of fault attributable to each of the defendants.
This article will outline the necessary steps and considerations that arise during apportionment calculations.
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