Calculating Settlement Value of a Personal Injury Case in OntarioOctober 13, 2021
Calculating settlement value of a personal injury case can be difficult and complicated. There are several factors at play in determining the value of a personal injury and it is important to understand some basic facts about what a personal injury is, how the court views them and how they determine what an injury may be worth.
Pecuniary vs. Non-Pecuniary Damages
There are two types of damages that courts will use to determine when calculating the settlement value of a personal injury case in Ontario. Pecuniary damages have a specific number value related to the injury. These damages are used to treat your injury, cover your medical costs and any prescriptions or supplies you may need. The amount is fairly standard and can usually be determined with medical bills or records. Non-pecuniary damages are those that may be more difficult to determine, including pain and suffering. These damages are often based on the court’s determination and not on a set figure.
Limits When Calculating Settlement Value of a Personal Injury Case in Ontario
Canada has limits on how much can be awarded for non-pecuniary damages and is around $340,000. This means that only if your injuries are severe is it likely you will receive a settlement that high. Loss of limbs, disfigurement, paralysis or other permanent injuries are often the only types that are awarded high non-pecuniary damages. In addition, if you are injured in an auto accident, there are other limits that may apply to your case. You must meet certain thresholds in order to any non-pecuniary damages. These include:
- Permanent disfigurement that is serious
- Permanent impairment whether mental, physical or psychological
A soft tissue injury or one that does not lead to permanent damage usually does not meet the threshold for non-pecuniary damages. In auto accidents in Ontario, there is also a statutory deductible. This is deducted from any non-pecuniary damages. Currently, that amount is $39,556.53 for awards over $131,854.01. Once the non-pecuniary damages are determined, they are added to your pecuniary damages and that is the final settlement.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The first step in calculating settlement value of a personal injury case in Ontario is to confirm that you have a case at all. Ontario courts recognize several types of personal injury accidents that may be eligible for a cause of action. These include auto accidents, workplace accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, defective products and more. There are time limits for when you must file a personal injury case as well. If you do not file your case within two years of discovering you have a claim, you lose the right to file a lawsuit. The clock begins when you either first learned of the injury or the date that a reasonable person should have known they were injured. For instance, after a car accident, you should realize fairly quickly that you are injured. However, surgical or hazardous material exposure injuries may not appear for several years. If the injury occurred before you were 18, you have two years from the time you turn 18 to file the claim.
Determining Cause of the Injury
Another key to determining if you have a personal injury case is how the injury occurred. The injury must have been caused by or contributed to negligence or carelessness of another person. In addition, you will have to prove that the only remedy you have is by filing a lawsuit and calculating the settlement value of a personal injury case. You may be able to collect damages for medical expenses, lost income and property damage under pecuniary damages. Non-pecuniary damages may include loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement or pain and suffering.
Because personal injury cases can be complicated, it is critical that you speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. A lawyer can help guide you through the process and may even be able to help you find medical care that you are unable to find on your own. They will handle the other party, their lawyers and the court system so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the neglect or carelessness of someone else, contact our office today to see how we can help. You can arrange for a no-obligation consultation to learn what rights you may have under the law.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.