Statutory Deductible for General Damages in Personal Injury Claims in Ontario
If you have been injured in a car accident in Ontario, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, as well as the pain and suffering you endured as a result. This compensation is typically achieved through a tort claim, and the amounts are determined in accordance with guidelines from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).
In regulating the amount of compensation available to injured accident survivors, the FSRA stipulates a statutory threshold and deductible for tort awards relating to car or automobile accidents. This means that an award below a certain amount may be subject to a deductible, which reduces the amount the plaintiff receives. The FSRA re-evaluates the threshold and deductible every year, with the amounts tied to the Canadian Consumer Price Index.
For legal support regarding your specific claim, and to address any questions you may have, contact our London personal injury lawyers at Cohen HIghley LLP today and schedule a consultation.
What Are General Damages?
General damages are also known as non-pecuniary damages. “Pecuniary” means relating to, or consisting of, money. Non-pecuniary therefore refers to damages that do not have a clear monetary amount. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more, may fall under this category. The amount a person may be entitled to receive in general damages is typically calculated in relation to the amount of money they would have received in an ordinary year, had the damage of the accident not occurred.
General damages are different from pecuniary damages, which may be calculated based on quantifiable losses such as property damage, medical bills, income lost as a result of the injuries, and more.
What Is a Statutory Deductible?
With the intention of curtailing the costs of personal injury litigation, the FSRA stipulates a monetary threshold that a personal injury award must meet in order to avoid a statutory deductible. In practice, this means that the claimant in a serious personal injury claim may receive far less than the amount they are awarded by a jury. Working with our London accident lawyers, a claimant may be able to recover more than they might have received without legal guidance.
In 2023, the monetary threshold for non-pecuniary damages is $147,889.59. A personal injury award less than this amount is subject to a $44,367.24 deductible. This means that if a jury decides to award a claimant $50,000 in general damages, the claimant will actually receive $5,632.76 from the defendant’s insurance company. In some cases, if the award is less than the deductible amount, the claimant may receive nothing.
It is important to note that a claimant is subject to the amounts of both the deductible and the monetary threshold for the year their claim is assessed, and not the year of the accident that caused their injuries. Because the threshold and deductible amounts rise each year with inflation, this means the hurdle for a personal injury survivor continues to rise.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
It is important to know your legal rights. Committed to empowering our clients, our London personal injury lawyers approach each individual case with careful attention to detail, seeking to achieve the best possible result. By understanding the particulars of your case, we may be able to advise on how best to proceed with a claim.
Should your case go to court, we may be able to guide the process, representing your interests before a judge.
Contact Our Cohen Personal Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
It is challenging to know how much compensation might be awarded in general damages for a car accident injury claim. Considerations concerning statutory deductibles may be pivotal in helping individuals decide how to proceed. For legal support, it can be invaluable to consult with a lawyer. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with our London personal injury lawyers and learn more about what may be possible in your claim.
*Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is not intended to act as legal advice. It is a general overview on a legal topic. For specific legal advice, please consult with a personal injury lawyer.