Tort Claims Law FAQ

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What is a tort claim?

A tort is a harm resulting in personal injury to one individual, caused by the negligence of another individual or entity. The initial steps involved in a tort claim include an investigation, review of medical and clinical reports, and assessments by experts to clarify the injured person’s needs and damages. The steps involved in a legal proceeding include the issuance of a statement of claim, obtaining a statement of defence, preparing and sending an affidavit of all documents to all parties, receiving affidavits of documents from all responding parties, attending examinations for discovery with clients, pursuing settlement of the case through negotiation, mediation and/or pre-trial, and finally a trial if necessary. It’s important to keep in mind that approximately only 2% of cases proceed to trial, while most are settled prior to trial.

What healthcare expenses can you claim in a tort?

If your injuries pass the “threshold test”, all past, present and future health care expenses not covered by OHIP or by your accident benefits insurer are claimable.

When can you sue for non-pecuniary damages (pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life)?

To sue for non-pecuniary damages, you have to prove that your injury meets the “threshold.” This can only be done if you have suffered either a permanent and serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function, or permanent and serious disfigurement.

What are the rights of my family members? Do they have a right to sue?

Yes. Family members are entitled to sue for loss of care. These claims are subject to a $15,000 deductible. Your family members may also be entitled to recover damages if your injuries have harmed your relationship with them, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses they have incurred as a result of your injury.

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