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Legal Suppliers, Personal Injury

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.

The company, BridgePoint Indemnity, offers individuals financial protection against adverse cost awards as well as optional cost protection to cover any disbursements incurred or owed to counsel if the claim is unsuccessful.

Campisi, partner with Carranza LLP, is not involved with the company, but recently heard a presentation from the group and feels the service will benefit his clients in future cases.

“They’ve created a product where they will indemnify a plaintiff’s lawyer and their client,” says Campisi. “In the event that they proceed to trial and lose, this company will reimburse the plaintiff for all of the legal costs that may be awarded against them.”

The service, focused on personal injury litigation, offers financial security for individuals entering lawsuits, says Campisi.

"The biggest fear that an individual plaintiff has is if they proceed to trial and do not do very well, they’d be on the hook for paying the legal costs of the defendant and also bearing their own expenses,” he says. “This is powerful disincentive for plaintiffs because the insurance company has lots of money, so if they lose, it’s not a big deal, but if a plaintiff loses it could seriously disrupt their lives and create economic chaos.”

Campisi says the service is valuable in personal injury law in particular, because clients come from all walks of life.

“If you look at the work we do, we represent the average person on the street that’s been involved in an accident. If they can access this product, it insulates them from the treatment you often hear from insurance companies that say, ‘If you have assets we’ll go after them if you lose,’” says Campisi.

“This is great because it sort of levels the playing field.”

For Campisi, the importance of the service relates to access to justice.

“For the first time an average plaintiff can go ahead and take the risk on a meritorious claim and not have the fear that should they lose at trial they’ll lose their home or financial security or they’ll be bankrupt,” he says.

“I hope a lot of plaintiffs would take advantage of this product just to insulate themselves from the costs instead of settling for less because they have a threat looming over their heads that should they lose, they’ll be exposed financially,” he says.

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