Ontario’s Restrictions On Damage Awards For Pain And Suffering

Ontario has not called for an end to the practice of compensating the victims of a car accident. However, that Canadian province has chosen to place restrictions on the size of an award for pain and suffering.

Ontario’s restrictions have been spelled out in the Insurance Act.

That act offers detailed information on the threshold statutory restrictions. According to that Act, no victim of a car accident can claim compensation for pain and suffering, unless that same victim falls into one of 3 categories:

1) The victim has died.
2) The victim’s injury has created a serious and permanent disfigurement.
3) The victim’s injury has created a serious and permanent impairment of a physical, mental or psychological function.

Who decides what victims have crossed the threshold, and have sustained qualifying injuries?

That decision is made by the judge in the courtroom where the victim’s case has been presented. The jury plays no part in making that decision. In fact, if the jury has awarded a plaintiff a certain size of award, the judge can declare that the plaintiff’s injuries fall outside of the line defined by the threshold statutory requirements. In that case, the plaintiff would be denied the jury’s suggested award.

Are there any other rules that concern the size of the award offered to victims of a car accident?

Yes, there are rules that pertain to any awards that equal or fall below $129,395.49. Anytime a jury chooses to reward a plaintiff with an amount of money that equals or falls below that figure, the recipient of that reward does not get all of the money mentioned in the jury’s decision.

Instead, the awarded plaintiff must first pay a statutory deductible. In every case, the size of that deductible comes to $38,818.97. In other words, all car accident victims that receive an amount of money that equals or falls below $129,395.49 should expect the court to remove the deductible from the amount of money that was awarded to them.

According to the guidelines sent to personal injury lawyer in Huntsville, only those plaintiffs that have suffered a catastrophic injury deserve to be awarded more than $129,395.49.

What qualifies as a catastrophic injury?

That is one that limits the victim’s participation in employment, or in social, recreational, familial or household activities. Consequently, all car accident victims in Ontario should plan on hiring a lawyer. It then becomes the lawyer’s responsibility to show that the client’s injuries limit the client’s ability to obtain a paying job, or to take part in the sort of social, recreational, familial or household activities in which the lawyer’s client had previously participated. In other words, the client’s injuries would have passed the threshold statutory restrictions.