A Detailed Look at Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Law

In personal injury cases that take place in Ontario Provincial cities such as Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for what is called “pain and suffering”.  According to the Legal Dictionary, pain and suffering is defined as:


“The physical and mental distress suffered from an injury, including actual broken bones and internal ruptures, but also the aches, pain, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression, and embarrassment from scarring, all of which are part of the ‘general damages’ recoverable by someone injured by another’s negligence or intentional attack.”


In personal injury law, you may be compensated for what you have endured as well as if your pain and suffering continues.  These are commonly referred to as “non-pecuniary general” damages in a personal injury cases.


Compensation Limits


Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada established limits on the amount of compensation awarded for an individual’s pain and suffering.  With the addition of inflation since that time, the amount is roughly $340,000 but only in the most severe instances.  The cap amount was established because of the Supreme Court‘s opinion that pain and suffering damages were not compensatory in nature and that no amount of money will provide actual restitution.


Consequently, the damages awarded are seen as the provision of additional funds in order to make a person’s life easier to endure.  According to personal injury law, injury victims or plaintiffs will be compensated for future care expenses and lost wages.  The actual reasoning for the establishment of the cap was based on the case of “Andrews v. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd.”


Meeting the Threshold


If a personal injury claim stems from an auto vehicle accident in the cities of Oakville, St. Catharines, Waterloo, your injuries must meet the threshold (legal requirements) in order to claim pain and suffering damages.  If the threshold is not met, then you won’t be entitled to damages.  In order to meet or pass the threshold, your injuries must have resulted in:


·         Permanent serious disfigurement e.g. amputation of a limb, scarring, etc.

·         Permanent serious impairment of mental, physical, and psychological functions

·         Your death


Unless you meet this threshold, a claim for pain and suffering will not be allowed.  On the other hand, any claims for loss of earning capacity or income are not affected by this threshold.  Furthermore, a deductible amount of $30,000 will be subtracted from the compensation for damages that you are entitled to.  The rules governing pain and suffering claims are oftentimes complex and difficult to interpret.


This is why it is vital that you rely on the experience and expertise of a qualified personal injury lawyer in Oakville, St. Catharines, or Waterloo to represent your case.  Keep in mind that you have a better chance of getting a fair and reasonable settlement for your injuries when you have a lawyer representing you.  Most importantly, your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

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