Many individuals find it difficult to balance their finances. Whether it is a broken water heater that suddenly needs repair, an emergency surgery needed on the family pet, or paying for their children’s braces, many Albertans feel the crunch when it comes to paying off their monthly expenses and staying out of debt. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by MNP Ltd., close to two-thirds of Albertans are feeling a financial “pinch”, with 37 percent reporting they don’t earn enough to cover their bills and debt payments.
With so many struggling even in the best of times, it is difficult to imagine how one could continue to pay their bills and stay afloat following a car accident that results in injury. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that many claims take years to resolve, and with the limited court time available, a claimant getting injured today might not have his or her matter heard in trial more than five years from now.
While auto insurers do offer disability for those that are wholly and continuously disabled from working, they are only required to pay 80% of a claimant’s wage, and only up to $400 per week. For many, this will not even cover their monthly rent or mortgage payments. Further, these benefits are only payable for a maximum of two years from the date of the accident. This leaves many in a situation where they are unable to pay for the necessities of life, with what seems like no end in sight.
What happens to claimants in such a situation?
Unfortunately, for some, they may have opted to settle their claim much earlier than they should have, taking a low-ball offer from the insurance company so that they can avoid incurring a massive debt. Others might have opted to take out a high interest settlement loan, with daily compounding interest. These claimants might be left with very little of the ultimate settlement once the loans and interest are paid back.
However, these claimants may not have to settle for cents on the dollar simply out of desperation, or erode their future settlement by taking out a settlement loan in order to stay afloat. The Insurance Act provides claimants the right to apply to the Court for an Advance of the Judgement they can expect to receive at Trial.
The requirements to successfully obtain an Advance are technical and can seem very complicated. Because of this, it is best to speak with one of our lawyers about the possibility of an Advance should you find yourself injured in an accident, and unable to continue to pay for the necessities of life.
Over the last few months, we have filed multiple Advance Applications and have successfully obtained Advances for many clients, including a taxi driver who is now unable to work due to a serious back injury that resulted in a potential career ending surgery, and a lawyer who is now unable to practice law and is off work indefinitely due to a serious traumatic brain injury. In both cases, our client’s injuries resulted in significant financial shortfall, which compounded the stress and anxiety caused by being the victim of someone else’s negligence.
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident, feel free to call our office at 587-524-3000, to speak to any of our lawyers about your rights and how we can assist, and whether an Advance is an appropriate remedy a Court would grant.