Accident victims have a right under the law to sue at-fault drivers for non-pecuniary damages such as pain and suffering after an accident resulting in injuries. But the fact is, in Ontario, suing for pain and suffering is difficult. The government has enacted laws putting limitations on the definition of pain and suffering and what it entails. If you have questions with regard to your rights under Ontario’s legal definition of pain and suffering, a Kitchener personal injury lawyer is a good resource.
The Legal Threshold for Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering claims have to meet a certain “threshold”. Today, in order to pursue a claim, your injuries must meet certain requirements under the law. These injuries must be deemed a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function. Simply, this means that life has been transformed for you for the rest of your life. You must prove that you cannot work and cannot participate in your normal daily living as it was before the accident. These injuries will need to be proven permanent, meaning that they will impact your life in a tangible way for the rest of your life and will probably not become better. An injury lawyer in Kitchener will be able to help you determine whether your injuries meet this threshold.
The Need to Surpass the Monetary Deductible
In addition to meeting the threshold for the definition of pain and suffering, your injuries also need to surpass monetary amounts to apply for pain and suffering claims. A deductible $30,000 must be met. If your claim is not worth more than $30,000, it does not meet the necessary deductible to be considered a pain and suffering claim. Pain and suffering claims will be attributed to anything over and above that $30,000 deductible. This may or may not make sense to you as the victim if you are only going to be awarded a small sum after the deductible that then goes to pay legal fees. If your damages exceed $100,000, then the deductible does not apply.
From a victim’s perspective, a deductible doesn’t seem very fair. But insurance companies lobbied that they were paying out too much in claims for non-pecuniary damages and successfully had the deductible enacted.
Get Experienced Legal Advice
When it comes to pain and suffering, it is often very difficult to recover damages after a motor vehicle accident in Ontario. Your best recourse if you have any questions about your eligibility for a pain and suffering claim after an accident is to consult with a professional injury lawyer in Kitchener. Call the injury law professionals at ABPC Law in order to get any questions answered. We offer a no-cost initial consultation.