Understanding Ontario’s Cap on General Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Ontario’s Cap on General Damages

In the realm of personal injury law in Ontario, navigating the complexities of compensation can be daunting for those who have suffered due to someone else’s negligence. A critical aspect of this journey is understanding general damages and how they are capped within the province.

What are General Damages?

General damages, often referred to as non-pecuniary damages, are awarded to compensate for intangible losses that don’t have a specific monetary value. These can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress resulting from the injury. Unlike economic losses, which cover medical bills and lost earnings, general damages address the personal, subjective impact of an injury on an individual’s life.

What is Ontario’s Cap on General Damages?

In Ontario, there’s a significant caveat to these damages: the cap. Established by the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark case of Andrews v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd. in 1978, the cap was set to recognize the most severe personal injuries. Although the exact figure has been adjusted for inflation over the years, it effectively limits the amount that can be awarded for pain and suffering. As of now, the cap for general damages in Ontario hovers around $400,000, but it’s important to note that this cap applies only to general damages and not to other forms of compensation like economic losses or punitive damages.

What does this mean for Personal Injury Cases?

This cap is a critical consideration for anyone involved in a personal injury case, as it directly influences the potential compensation for pain and suffering. Navigating these waters requires expert legal guidance. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable support in understanding these limitations, advocating for fair compensation, and ensuring that the nuances of Ontario’s legal landscape are navigated with precision and care. Speak to a personal injury attorney today to learn about your potential compensation options.

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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