Paramedic Legal Protection
The Ontario Paramedic Association's Paramedic Legal Protection is included with all Paramedic and Associate memberships and covers the following:
- On-Duty Criminal Defense ($100,000)
- Drivers License Protection ($100,000)
- Contract Disputes ($100,000)
- Property Protection ($100,000)
- Employment Disputes ($100,000)
- Fault Determination & Total Loss Valuation Disputes ($100,000)
- Statutory Accident Benefits ($100,000)
- Driving Other Vehicles ($100,000)
- Bodily Injury ($100,000)
- Tax Protection ($100,000)
- Unlimited Legal Advice
NOTE: Aggregate limit per annual period ($500,000)
Protect Yourself Now
We are proud to announce that a Legal Expense Insurance policy will now be included within the annual dues for paramedic and associate membership.
- $22/month - Full Paramedic members
- $19/month - Associate members
JOIN NOW to become a legally protected member.
Background - Research
Paramedics throughout Ontario and across Canada have been facing an increasing amount of litigation.
Beginning in 2014, the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa started providing Legal Protection to all paramedic members and associate members. In 2015, the Ontario Paramedic Association and their subchapters started providing the same insurance with membership.
Our research originally started in 2012 when we began to conduct an analysis and jurisprudence review of legal issues affecting paramedics across Canada. The evidence yielded two clear problems:
- Paramedics do not have adequate legal indemnification or legal protection whether they are on-duty or off-duty
- Whether on-duty or off-duty, paramedics are facing an increasing number of charges that fall under statutes such as the Criminal Code of Canada, Ambulance Act and Highway Traffic Act.
Over the last decade, paramedics have personally defended themselves at extraordinary costs. In each case, retainers for legal counsel started at $1,500-$2,500. Lawyers charge $350/hour. The average cost for individual court cases involving paramedics have been $16,000-$60,000 with higher profile cases costing up to $100,000.
Background - Options
We researched a number of solutions in order to determine the best means to adequately and promptly protect our members:
- Indemnity Clauses (do not prospectively fund litigation unless it is successful and only after it has completed
- Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) Insurance (already provided by employers through the Frank Cowan Company)
- Legal Defense Funds (do not exist in most areas, takes years to build an adequate fund, does not protect against base hospitals, MOH, HTA, off-duty charges and does not protect non-union paramedics or office staff)
- Legal Expense Insurance (provides immediate legal consultation, paralegal, paid lawyers and will provide paid legal representation against base hospitals, MOH, HTA drivers license protection, contract disputes, property protection, employment disputes, fault determination, total loss valuation, statutory accident benefits, driving other vehicles, bodily injury, tax protection and protects against off-duty charges as well as non-union paramedics and office staff)
As this was being designed from scratch, we selected the best possible protection for Ontario Paramedics was clearly Legal Expense Insurance.
Due to the size of the Ontario Paramedic Association, we were able to establish very low group rates for Legal Expense Insurance from DAS Canada and North City Insurance Brokers. This insurance normally sells to individuals for over $700/year. Thanks to having a membership base in the thousands, we were able to establish group rates at 90% off and include Legal Protection with your OPA membership dues.
The Ontario Medical Association now provides this exact same policy to their members.
Background - Pilot Project
As of January 2014, the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa (PPAO) became the first chapter in Canada to include Paramedic Legal Protection as an included benefit for paramedic members and associate members.
The Ontario Paramedic Association is now able to offer Paramedic Legal Protection to all of our paramedic members, associate members and we even have programs available for our chapters.
Background - Information
Please check this link for more information about Paramedic Legal Protection.