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Paramedic Legal Protection

Date: 2014-01-14

Paramedic Legal Protection Coverage

The Ontario Paramedic Association's Paramedic Legal Protection covers the following:

  • On-Duty Criminal Defense ($100,000)
  • Drivers Licence 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 ($10,000)
  • Unlimited Legal Advice
  • NOTE: AGGREGATE LIMIT PER ANNUAL PERIOD ($500,000)

Learn more at: http://www.OttawaParamedics.ca/legal


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.

  • $20/month - Full Paramedic members
    (includes OPA, PAC, Canadian Paramedicine Magazine & Legal Protection)
  • $17/month - Associate members
    (includes OPA, Canadian Paramedicine Magazine & Legal Protection)

JOIN NOW to become a legally protected member: https://www.OttawaParamedics.ca/members/register/


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:

  1. Paramedics do not have adequate legal indemnification or legal protection whether they are on-duty or off-duty
  2. 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:

  1. Indemnity Clauses (do not prospectively fund litigation unless it is successful and only after it has completed
  2. Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) Insurance (already provided by employers through the Frank Cowan Company)
  3. 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)
  4. 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 - Information

Feel free to check out the following links for more information about Paramedic Legal Protection.

  1. Paramedic Legal Protection - Information Package
  2. Paramedic Legal Protection - Insurance Policy Background Information

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 a mandatory benefit for Paramedic members ($20/month) and Associate members ($17/month).

The PPAO experienced significant growth with 98.6% of the paramedics in Ottawa becoming Full Paramedic paid members. Dozens of paramedics from surrounding services have also joined the PPAO in order to obtain Paramedic Legal Protection.

We are confident that any chapter who offers Paramedic Legal Protection to their members will experience growth and development. It is simply the right thing to do in a very litigious society where paramedics are not currently afforded adequate legal representation.


More Info:

Darryl Wilton, President

Professional Paramedic Association Of Ottawa
300 March Road (4th Floor), Otttawa, ON K2K 2E2
613-244-0333 | President@OttawaParamedics.ca