The filing of a tort claim represents initiation of a civil law action. It provides the claimant with a way to obtain compensation for injuries that the same claimant suffered at the time of an accident.
Elements that claimants must prove in order to win their requested compensation:
The fact that the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff.
The fact that the defendant breached that duty of care.
The fact that the defendant’s breach caused the accident. The court seeks an answer to this question: Was the harm done to the plaintiff foreseeable? If it was, then that would support the alleged link between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries.
Did the plaintiff get injured at the time of the accident? The court checks to see if there were any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. An aggravating circumstance could increase the seriousness of an acquired problem/ injury. A mitigating circumstance could reduce the serious nature of such a problem.
Benefits enjoyed by someone that has filed a tort claim:
• Compensation for pain and suffering
• Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life
• Reimbursement for lost income
• Reimbursement for rehabilitation services and medical care in the future
• Compensation for caregiving costs
• Funds that can compensate for out-of-pocket expenses
• Some of those benefits cover non-pecuniary damages.
What courts in Ontario know about non-pecuniary damages?
Those courts know that Ontario’s laws include a provision that places a threshold on the amount of money that any plaintiff can receive for non-pecuniary damages. By the same token, the court system realizes that certain remedies, such as the compensation for pecuniary damages can be used to offset the small amount of money allowed for non-pecuniary damages.
That does not mean that the court automatically arranges for utilization of the offsetting benefits. Instead, it provides the lawyers on both sides with a stage, on which to argue for and against the utilization of such benefits. In other words, the courtroom becomes the scene of a legal battle.
Each lawyer supports, or argues against, the legal basis for delivery of a specific benefit to a particular plaintiff. That benefit would cover a quantifiable loss, such as the loss of income. A good Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville could argue for coverage of future loss of earnings, if a client had become disabled. The funds covering future loss of earnings might be able to offset the reduced amount of money for pain and suffering.
The judge listens to the arguments presented by both sides. Eventually, though, the judge must reach a decision. The judge’s decision will reflect the extent to which each side’s legal team has highlighted the reasons for or against delivery of a specific benefit to the plaintiff.
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