Plaintiff protection: Adverse cost insurance changes the game for clients, insurers

Adverse cost insurance comes in varying names, is offered by a handful of companies, and is relatively new to the Ontario legal landscape. It has been referred to as legal costs protection, adverse cost insurance or even after-the-event insurance. Regardless of its moniker it is, in my opinion, the greatest advancement in access to justice in the personal injury field since the judicial acceptance in Ontario of contingency fees. The various products essentially provide insurance coverage to litigants who face paying costs to a successful opponent on motions right through to trial.

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LISC presents to OTLA (Ontario Trial Lawyers Association) Board of Directors

LISC was recently invited by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) Board of Directors to present and discuss its services at their most recent meeting on October 20, 2014 in Toronto. This blog post is taken from the presentation made by Stephen Pauwels, Principal of BridgePoint Financial Services Inc.

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BridgePoint offers protection for personal injury claimants

BridgePoint Indemnity Company offers legal cost protection that helps people who have been seriously injured to obtain the settlement they deserve, says an animated informational video that appears on YouTube. The nearly two-minute animation depicts a person who has been injured in a car crash and the difficulties that person could experience if he or she seeks compensation from an insurance company.

“When you’ve been seriously injured, the road to recovery can be a long one. With the help of your lawyer, you’re hoping to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet,” says the video. “Unfortunately, the legal process is also a long one because the large insurance company opposing your claim won’t pay without a fight.”

Most personal injury claims eventually settle out of court, the video says, but if an acceptable offer isn’t made, the matter may go to trial.

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Legal Cost Protection to Change Canadian Litigation

Irwin Mitchell, a leading U.K. law firm, has recently reported that it has been retained to act in a number of professional negligence actions against lawyers by commercial clients who were not advised about the availability of “after the event” insurance (also known as ATE insurance). ATE Insurance in the United Kingdom is similar to legal cost indemnities offered by our company, BridgePoint Indemnity Company (LISC) in Canada, that protects clients against adverse cost exposure in the event they are unsuccessful prosecuting their claims (plus the option to purchase protection for their counsel’s own costs or disbursements).

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LISC Legal Cost Protection Successfully Used to Defeat Security for Costs Application

Renée Vinett, a partner at Toronto personal injury law firm, Howie, Sacks & Henry, successfully used legal cost protection issued by BridgePoint Indemnity Company (“LISC”) to defeat an application seeking $180,000 as security for costs from her Ontario-resident client who suffered injuries in a horseback riding accident which took place in Alberta.

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Indemnity Service Offers Level Playing Field

A new legal cost protection service being offered in Canada is in a position to increase access to justice across the country, says Toronto personal injury lawyer Joseph Campisi.

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Costs and the Impecunious Plaintiff

It is generally accepted that if your client is impecunious, he or she will likely be judgment proof. The recent decision in Leochko v. Rostek, 2013 ONSC 7899 (CanLII) might give some plaintiff’s counsel cause for concern.

In 2005, Ms. Leochko was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She was not able to successfully return to work after the accident and she started receiving income replacement benefits (“IRBs”). In 2007, the insurer stopped the IRBs but they were reinstated in October 2009. The benefits continued to be paid but were reduced as a result of Ms. Leochko receiving Canada Pension Plan benefits. As part of the reinstatement, Ms. Leochko also received arrears of IRBs of $43,967.95. Between 2007 and October 2009, Ms. Leochko fell behind on her bills and had to declare bankruptcy.

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