Toronto attack will lead to witness claims

Published: May 3, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The April 23 attack in North Toronto that resulted in over 10 deaths and multiple direct injuries when a man drove a rental vehicle down a sidewalk has wider repercussions for insurers. As well as dealing with direct claims from the attack, auto insurance carriers may have to pay accident claims to witnesses of the tragedy.

If medical evidence shows psychological damage from the event, insurers could pay suggests an expert.

Insurance lawyer Daniel Strigberger spoke to Canadian Underwriter this week and said people with no physical injury but having "a hard time coping" in the aftermath of the attack could probably argue a loss was caused by the tragedy.

Strigberger is part of the leadership for Strigberger Brown Armstrong and is the author of Auto Insurance Coverage Law in Ontario.

While claims could be made, he points out witnesses would need to be within a specific distance from the event. Just being a witness would not be enough for a successful claim as medical proof would be needed.

“There are countless (auto accident benefits) claims that are going to emanate from this,” Eric Grossman, founding partner of Zarek Taylor Grossman Hanrahan LLP, said last week of the April 23 attack. Grossman was commenting on pedestrians who were physically injured.