After a car, bus or truck accident in Ontario, injured victims may file claims to recover financial compensation for their injuries and damages. What most injured car accident victims do not know is that there are 2 types of claims they may file: an accident benefits claim and a tort claim.
This article will address tort claims.
Filing Tort Claims After an Auto Accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby
In a tort claim or lawsuit, the injured driver, passenger or pedestrian may recover the following damages:
- pain and suffering,
- loss of income,
- loss of competitive advantage in the workplace,
- out of pocket expenses, and
- other damages which are not covered by your auto accident benefits.
Pain and suffering is also called general damages or non-pecuniary damages. In general terms, pain and suffering is one’s inability to lead a normal life due to mental and physical suffering as a result of the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident.
Pain and suffering is different for everyone, and pain and suffering damages can be awarded for the past, present and future depending on the injuries and how the individual’s life is affected by them.
Recovering Pain and Suffering Damages
However, suing for pain and suffering in a tort claim after an Ontario auto accident may be difficult. Changes to Ontario’s Insurance Act (Act) have discouraged victims from recovering for their damages. The purpose of the amendments was to minimize the number of tort claims filed by accident victims. One of those changes relates to a victim’s pain and suffering claim.
In order for a victim to recover for pain and suffering, they must meet the “threshold test.” Essentially, injured drivers and passengers may only recover for pain and suffering if their injuries meet a standard of severity defined by the Act. Their injuries must be:
- a permanent serious disfigurement; or
- a permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.
Not only do the victims have to prove that their injuries exceed the threshold in order to recover for pain and suffering, their pain and suffering damages claim is also subject to a $30,000 deductible if the pain and suffering award is less than $100,000.