In Ontario, when a victim is injured in an accident, whether it is a slip and fall accident, motor vehicle accident, etc., he/she may file a lawsuit or tort claim against the party or parties responsible for causing the accident. The goal of a tort claim is for an accident victim to financially recover from the parties responsible for his/her injuries and damages. Some of the damages include:
- lost income;
- medical expenses; and
- pain and suffering.
In the context of Ontario motor vehicle accidents however, auto accident victims can only recover pain and suffering damages if they meet a legal threshold, also called the “threshold test.”
Auto accident victims are only entitled to pain and suffering compensation if their injuries meet the legal threshold. In general, their injuries must be serious and permanent.
Ontario law (Bill 198 Section 4.2) defines serious impairment as the following:
“serious” – the impairment must,
(i) substantially interfere with the ability to continue his or her regular or usual employment, despite reasonable efforts to accommodate the person’s impairment and the person’s reasonable efforts to use the accommodation to allow the person to continue employment, or,
(ii) substantially interfere with the person’s ability to continue training for a career in a field in which the person was being trained before the incident, despite reasonable efforts to accommodate the person’s impairment and the person’s reasonable efforts to use the accommodation to allow the person to continue his or her career training, or,
(iii) substantially interfere with most of the usual activities of daily living, considering the person’s age.
In general terms, injuries are serious if they impact accident victims’ activities of daily living, such as work, family life, hobbies, etc. It is important to note that not all 3 substantial interferences have to be met; an injured victim has a serious impairment if 1 of these above definitions is met.
In addition, injuries must impact victims for the rest of their lives. Even if an injured auto accident victim suffers serious injuries but is able to resume normal life activities a year after the accident, this individual cannot argue that the injuries are permanent. The law defines permanent as the following:
“permanent” -the impairment must,
(i) have been continuous since the incident and must, based on medical evidence and subject to the person reasonably participating in the recommended treatment of the impairment, be expected not to substantially improve, and
(ii) continue to be “serious”, and
(iii) be of a nature that is expected to continue without substantial improvement when sustained by persons in similar circumstances.
Help After an Ontario Car or Truck Accident
Bergeron Clifford LLP has proudly and successfully represented injured auto accident clients and their loved ones in legal proceedings across Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Perth, and Eastern Ontario. Their goal is to help you receive appropriate compensation in the shortest amount of time. 866-384-5886