Quebec Subrogation Claims: An unwelcome surprise
November 6, 2009
Many in the Quebec legal community risk facing an unwelcome surprise when settling personal injury claims. Éric Hardy explains in Lawyers Weekly.
Another sticky point is that while RAMQ (Quebec Health Insurance Board) usually seeks recovery for medical and hospital expenses that it already incurred, it has in the past sought and demanded payment to cover expenses for future treatment in cases where the injuries were severe.
“Generally RAMQ seeks payment for past medical treatment, and that is rarely the source of disputes,” said Éric Hardy of Ogilvy Renault LLP in Quebec City. “But in cases where RAMQ is demanding expenses for future treatment, that can be a source of discussion, and steps are taken to consult experts to determine whether the victim will need future treatment and whether RAMQ's calculations are correct."
While both RAMQ and the government have three years to assert their subrogation claims, in practice RAMQ is rather aggressive in asserting the claims. Although the health insurance board has a right to obtain information from victims requiring medical or hospital care to determine the circumstances surrounding their injuries, RAMQ normally waits to see if an action has been launched by the victim against the person allegedly responsible for the injury. That’s why RAMQ routinely examines court dockets of civil cases involving individuals who required medical or hospital care, said Hardy.
Ogilvy Renault joined international legal practice Norton Rose Group on June 1, 2011, and is now called Norton Rose OR LLP.