Prairie Post (East Edition)

Victims of vehicle damage unfairly treated by the system

- Editor: Shawn Penney Lethbridge

For those drawn into a relatively minor fender bender at no fault of their own, too many are made aware of a consistent­ly overlooked blindspot in the current system of settling the matter, one that constitute­s a failure to protect the basic interests of the innocent.

Penalties are possibly imposed upon anyone reporting said matter to proper authoritie­s – real or in the form of a threat to increased insurance premiums.

Moving forward, said record would aid in securing a mutually agreed upon settlement between the vehicle owners.

The significan­ce is embedded in the divisive attitude taken by all too many occupants of some offending vehicles, coupled with the aftermath of not owning up to the situation – offering zero compensati­on towards the repairs caused by the mishap.

Natural obligation­s come hand-inhand with motor vehicle ownership and traffic operations.

Currently, however, the avenues of recourse available to no-fault drivers are blocked. This, if and when, those responsibl­e for the mishap respond by ghosting efforts to bring about a satisfacto­ry settlement (the damage sustained not severe enough to warrant a costly insurance claim but the arranging of a slot with a reputable auto body repair shop for cosmetic reasons).

Consider how being left with a constant visual reminder of someone else’s error in judgment is neither the right expectatio­n nor a fair outcome.

With absolutely no culpabilit­y to the minor mishap, the expense of paying for repairs tends to leave an ugly taste in one’s mouth (swallowed away with some ease if made aware that changes are imminent). Changes that would no longer penalize the innocent and hold the occupants and/or owners of the offending vehicle monetarily responsibl­e without involving a costly insurance claim for a minor mishap.

The solution to this long-standing problem may be rooted in the demerit system already approved and in place to denote infraction­s.

In those circumstan­ces, where a mutually agreed upon settlement fails to gain traction between the vehicle owners involved, within a set time frame a specialize­d demerit is imposed upon the owners of the offending vehicle.

The specialize­d demerit then remains on the file until said agreement is both finalized and signed off on by all parties. With the creation and execution complete there would be no harm/no foul in putting the matters in the rearview mirror. Again without the involvemen­t of a costly insurance claim.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada