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Accident while license suspended
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:01 pm
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Hi. I'm new to this forum. Looking for info on this situation:
Son had license suspended due to non payment of a fine. Swerved to miss a deer while driving with suspended license and rolled his car. Car is a write off. No charges were laid in the accident except driving while suspended. Court date in a few weeks for driving with suspended license. Insurance says it won't cover car because his license was suspended. He tells me he was unaware of his license being suspended.

Any advice or info that may help would be appreciated.
TIA.


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 1373
My understanding is that the insurance company would have to cover any liability claims for damage (say to property or signs or telephone polls).

I am not sure about the vehicle itself though and whether they have to cover it or not.

Was the car and insurance in your sons name or in somebody else's?

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+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Posts: 1373
I just found this:
https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/broc ... toins.aspx

Exclusions in Standard Auto Policy

Recognize that:
Mechanical failure or breakdown, rusting, wear and tear, freezing or explosion within the engine and damage to tires, are not covered unless they result from an insured peril (such as a collision).

Your insurance company is allowed to deny payment for loss or damage caused to the vehicle in an accident, if you or anyone you let drive your vehicle:
was unable to maintain proper control of the vehicle because you (or he and she) was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or
is convicted
of one of the following Criminal Code offences (or any similar offences under any other law in Canada or the United States) relating to the use, care, or control of the vehicle:
causing death or injury by criminal negligence,
dangerous operation of a vehicle,
failure to stop at the scene of an accident,
driving a vehicle when impaired or with more than 80 mg of alcohol in the blood,
refusal to provide the police with a breath sample,
causing injury when driving a vehicle while impaired or with over 80 mg/100ml of alcohol in the blood, or
driving the vehicle while disqualified from doing so.

Except for certain accident benefits, there is no coverage for anyone, including passengers, if:

Your vehicle is driven by a person without your consent, or by someone specifically excluded from your policy by the OPCF 28A (Excluded Driver Endorsement).
The vehicle is used to carry explosives or radioactive materials.
The vehicle is used as a taxicab, bus, or sightseeing vehicle, or to carry paying passengers such as with a ride-sharing service.
If you are intending to participate in a ride-sharing service as a driver, you should check with your auto insurance representative to ensure you have proper insurance that protects the driver, passenger and others.


So what I read here is that they can deny payment for the vehicle only if your son is CONVICTED of the driving with suspended license. Maybe others can chime here if they know anything about it, but it seems to me that you will want to try and fight the charge. It appears to me that if you win then the insurance company can not deny the claim and re-imburse for the car.

So your son should plead not guilty and request a trial and then request disclosure (officers notes). There is a slim chance (very slim) that the officer won't show up, or maybe he made a mistake in his notes. But you should keep all options open.

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+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Thank you for your response.
Yes, the insurance was in his name.


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:30 am
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He will have been sent a letter advising of his suspension. Did he keep his address up to date ?

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Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:15 pm 
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Yes his address was up to date. But he claims he received no notice. It was the officer who came to do the report at the hospital after the accident who said it was suspended. And from the look on his face, I know he didn't know. He says he opens his mail regularly but did not receive a notice. It was over an unpaid $155 ticket that he does admit to forgetting to pay.


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:17 pm 
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Is there any record kept by mto about sending these letters? Any way to check to make sure it was sent?


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:44 pm 
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jsherk,
That list is for Criminal Code convictions. Nothing to do with a drive under suspension.Drive while disqualified is Criminal.


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Re: Accident while license suspended
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2092
Location: Ontario
To the best of my knowledge, your son's claim will be denied even if he was unaware of the suspension. The most relevant case law on the topic is a 2007 Ontario Court of Appeal decision entitled Guy Williams v. York Fire & Casualty Insurance Company (can be found online).

The short version is that a driver with multiple unpaid fines gets into accident on the same day that his licence is suspended. After a lower court decision in the driver's favour, the Court of Appeal rules that if someone is suspended, irregardless if they're aware of the fact, the provider does not need to cover them. I'm not aware of any more recent case law that says otherwise.

Ultimately you may wish to consult with a lawyer if your claim is denied to see if you have any recourse, but the matter would fall outside the realm of the HTA.


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