Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers: Damages for Pain and Suffering / Non-Pecuniary Damages in Ontario

Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that the information and evidence an Ontario injured accident victim gathers and collects to support his or her claim for damages for pain and suffering is very helpful if it provides evidence of how the accident has impacted the victim’s life.

In Ontario, the calculation of damages for pain and suffering by your lawyer or by the Court is not an exact science.  Awards for damages and settlements are based on what other victims have received in the past for similar injuries.  There will usually be a range of damages for a particular type of injury that can be drawn out from the case law.  Your specific facts will determine where you fit in the range.

In Ontario, there is a cap on damages that was set by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1970.  The damages cap is indexed with inflation.  Right now, the maximum an Ontarian can be awarded for pain and suffering is between $325,000 and $350,000.  Damages at the cap level are generally reserved for the most serious cases of catastrophic injury.

For car accident cases,  there is also a financial threshold your case must surpass for you to receive damages for pain and suffering.  The amount of the threshold was set in the Insurance Act and the regulations passed by the provincial government.  For cases where the damages for pain and suffering are evaluated at less than $100,000, there is currently a $30,000 statutory deductible.  That means that if your damages for pain and suffering are $70,000, the insurance company only has to pay $40,000.   If your damages are $25,000, you receive nothing for pain and suffering.

The personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth strongly object to this deductible which is the harshest in North America and which has been referred to by at least one judge as a “tax on pain”.  However, this is the current state of the law.  We urge our clients to contact their Member of Provincial Parliament to voice concern about this issue.  One of our personal injury lawyers met with her own M.P.P. Jim Watson (formerly of Ottawa West- Nepean) in November 2007 to discuss this issue.

In light of the deductible, it is very important to provide as much evidence as possible of the impact of the injury on your life.  In some cases, the evidence from the calendar could push a case over the $100,000 mark, which results in a $30,000 gain to you.

If you would like more information about what your injury case may be worth, contact the accident lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth to schedule a free consultation.  There is no obligation and there are no hidden costs.  You can call us at 613 233-4529 or email us at [email protected].

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