You may have heard the term “pain and suffering” when it comes to personal injury claims. This type of claim is meant to compensate the injury victim for not only pain and suffering but other expenses and damages for injuries that were sustained in an accident. This is over and above the compensation you will receive in an insurance claim.
Although this can seem like it may be limitless under the descriptor, here in Ontario pain and suffering claims are not only difficult to prove but there are certain requirements and caps that will limit what an injured victim may claim for and be able to recover.
The Rules of Severity With Regard to Personal Suffering Claims
When an injury victim wants to pursue a pain and suffering claim, the injuries that were sustained must exceed what is known as the “threshold” of severity. This is set out in the Insurance Act and states that one individual is not liable for another’s injuries unless those injuries are very serious in nature. Those injuries must meet strict criteria.
● The injuries must be serious. A judge will make an evaluation of how the injury has impacted a victim’s daily life, the ability to work, or care for self and family.
● The injuries must be considered permanent. The judge will also determine permanency after evaluating any medical records, treatment history and options, or expert witness testimony. These injuries must be continuous from the time of the accident and must not be expected to improve.
● The injuries affect the victim’s physical, mental, or psychological functioning.
Deductibles and Caps
Another hindrance to a pain and suffering claim is a deductible. In 2018, this figure is $37,983.33. So any claim will be reduced by this amount unless the claim is worth more than $126,610.07 in which case the deductible no longer applies.
There is also a cap for pain and suffering claims which gets adjusted each year. The original cap was set at $100,000 back in 1978 but is adjusted each year to account for inflation. Right now, that figure is approximately $369,000. At the time they placed a cap on pain and suffering awards, the Supreme Court was trying to impose moderation. But in most catastrophic injuries, a cap of this nature doesn’t begin to be a fair monetary translation for such a life-altering injury.
Get Professional Advice
No amount of money can make up for these types of losses. Although it is difficult to put these types of losses into money terms, it is the legal recourse for many. In many cases, pain and suffering can be difficult and confusing to prove, but an experienced Cornwall injury lawyer can evaluate whether you are entitled to a pain and suffering claim and help. If you have sustained catastrophic injuries in an accident, call the legal professionals at A M Injury Law for a free consultation.