Question: How much compensation can I receive for pain and suffering if I sue the at-fault driver?
Answer: In order to sue for pain and suffering, your injuries from the car accident must meet a legal threshold. In general, your injuries must be serious and permanent. Because I don’t know the extent of your injuries, it is best to call our office. We can better answer your question once we have all of the facts. However, I will answer your question in general terms and explain current Ontario car accident law relating to pain and suffering damages.
Amount of Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering depends on various factors such as:
- extent of injuries,
- duration of treatment,
- future medical prognosis,
- how injury affects daily life, i.e., work, personal life, etc.
Two people can have the same injury but receive different pain and suffering awards. Consider the following: A 55 year old man is hit by a car while crossing the street in Kingston. As a result, he needs a hip replacement. Though the hip surgery is straightforward and no complications occurred during surgery, he has complications after the surgery. He has pneumonia and has to stay in the hospital for 2 extra weeks. In addition, the recovery is very tough for him and he needs physical therapy for 5 months.
Using the same facts, except the man hit by the car is now a 20 year old college student, the pain and suffering endured by this individual is vastly different.
The college student suffers no complications after the hip surgery. He is released from the hospital after 5 days. He has physical therapy for about 3 months and is back to his normal life.
The unique and personal aspects of a person’s life will also have a big impact on their damages award. What if a person can no longer pick up their grandchild? What if they can’t garden or work on their car which was their favorite hobby before? What if they can no longer concentrate on the page of a book and find it very difficult to enjoy novels or watch movies? It is the detailed impacts on day to day life that can swing an award up or down.
Pain and Suffering Deductible
My clients are often shocked to discover that even if they receive a pain and suffering award, it may be subject to a deductible. Per Ontario law, an injured car accident victim who receives a pain and suffering award of $100,000 or less is subject to a $30,000 deductible. Therefore, a $100,000 pain and suffering award is reduced to $70,000. The pain and suffering award is not subject to a deductible if it is over $100,000. Thus, if the award is $100,001, nothing is taken away even if it is only $1 more than $100,000. Hardly seems fair, right? However, it is the law.
If you want to discuss your case, feel free to call us. We would be happy to schedule a FREE consultation. 866-384-5886