Injured in a car accident? better be a very bad accident, otherwise you will get little compensation in Ontario.
In Ontario, if you are injured in a car accident, a award for “pain and suffering” is generally only available if you have suffered what is called a ‘permanent and serious physical or psychological impairment or permanent and serious scarring’.
Once you meet that test, the insurance company is then entitled to apply what is called a deductible from any damages assessed, essentially they get to reduce the amount they have to pay for pain and suffering, in many cases by $30,000 (adjusted to today’s dollars – about $35,500).
What is a “deductible” on pain and suffering?
If you sue the car driver who caused you injury and you succeed, the insurance company gets to reduce any award of general damages for pain and suffering by $30,000 if the award you receive is less than $100,000. So, if you win $40,000 for instance, they get to reduce that amount by $30,000 (but today in 2015 with inflation, its closer to $35,500), meaning you get $4,500 as an injury victim. That’s the law!
What is worse is that if your matter goes to trial by a jury, the jury is never told about the “deductible” so they never know that your $40,000 judgment is really $4,500.
The provincial government also recently changed the $100,000 amount so that any award below $121,799 is subject to a deductible of $36,540, which will increase every year with inflation.
So, to avoid the deductible, as a car accident injury victim, you would need be awarded more than $121,799 in 2015. In order to receive general damages above $121,799, you would need to be very seriously injured. Injuries such as a broken leg or arm would rarely ever meets this threshold of $121,799.
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident, you should retain an experienced Ottawa car accident lawyer who can navigate through the complex car accident laws in Ontario. Our lawyers have more than 20 years of experience dealing with insurance companies and complex injury cases.
Ottawa accident and injury lawyers representing families Free Consultations No Fee Until You Win
Marc Quinn 613-315-4878