Claiming or questioning a conspiracy is a serious allegation; it is not one to be done lightly. However our firm has been involved in many fatal accident claims over the years and in approximately 80% – 90% of the claims, tragically, the victims who have lost a loved one have not been informed by the insurance company for the party at fault, or even by their own auto insurance company, of the compensation that the surviving family has against the party at fault.
In our view this is adding tragedy on top of a tragedy. The auto insurance law in Alberta provides many benefits to the surviving family who lose a loved one at the hands of a drunk driver or a reckless driver or a speeding driver, and yet nobody from the insurance industry (who the victims are dealing with to have the vehicle repaired or replaced, etc.), will advise the family that they should get a lawyer or advise them of any other potential compensation rights.
It is understandable that the insurance company will not advise them as they are not lawyers. But they should at least tell the victim’s family to consult legal advice and at least tell them in circumstances where it is a young family and a young working mother or father who was killed that the claim can easily be in excess of $1 million and that the widow or widower and surviving children will thus be provided for financially despite the loss of one of the family members.
Instead it seems there is a conspiracy of silence among insurance companies to say nothing. Many victims’ families come to us and they have no idea of the benefits they are entitled to under Alberta law.
Since insurance companies do not provide the family with any information about compensation in a fatality, Alberta should pass a law requiring the victim’s family’s own insurance company to read a statement that gives some basic information and have them sign off that they have been advised of this information. Then at least the family has some idea that there is some compensation available after a tragic fatal auto accident. Contact your MLA, whoever that may be, either in Red Deer, Lethbridge or Grande Prairie, or Edmonton and complain. Tell your MLA that something needs to be done about this situation.
As a law firm we just want families to have good legal representation otherwise the victim’s family knows nothing and the insurance company for the drunk driver pays nothing, this is an outrageous situation. Complain to your MLA that Alberta law should provide that the victim’s family is informed of their basic legal rights in a fatal accident situation against a party at fault.