FAQ: I was in a car accident in Cornwall, Ontario. I am thinking of suing the driver who caused the head-on collision. I was told by a friend that if I sue, some of my damages are deducted before I even get it. What does this mean?

Answer: Unfortunately, your friend is correct in that a financial recovery you receive as a result of your car accident in Cornwell may be subject to a deductible. However, only a specific type of award is subject to that deductible.

In general, an individual who is injured in an Ontario car accident may file a tort claim against the at-fault driver to recover financial compensation. In your case, you would need to file a tort claim against the driver who caused the head-on collision. The damages injured car accident victims may recover are the following:

• medical expenses not covered by statutory accident benefits or OHIP,

• lost wages not covered by statutory accident benefits,

• out of pocket expenses, and

• pain and suffering damages (non-pecuniary damages).

The only part of your damage claim that is subject to a deductible is the pain and suffering damages claim. The amount of the deductible has been adjusted in the last year. Prior to August 1, 2015, an award of $100,000 or less for pain and suffering was subject to a $30,000 deductible. If the award was greater than $100,000, then there was no deductible.

However, the deductible was adjusted for inflation for the period between August 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. If a driver received $121,799 or less for a pain and suffering award, then it was subject to a $36,540 deductible.

On January 1, 2016 and every subsequent year, the deductible will be adjusted by the indexation percentage published under Ontario’s Insurance Act subsection 268.1(1) for that specific year.

Again, this deductible is only applicable to your pain and suffering damages. It does not affect recovery of your lost wage claim or other damage claims.

Pain and suffering is different for everyone. To ensure that you receive the maximum pain and suffering award you are entitled to, it is best that you speak to an experienced Cornwall, Ontario car accident lawyer who will carefully work up your case.

The personal injury car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have 40 years of experience representing injured clients and their loved ones after Ontario auto accidents in Cornwall, Kingston and other parts of Eastern Ontario. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your accident and injury, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-866-384-5886.