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Material and Emotional Damages

When you have been injured in an accident, your claim for damages is broken up into different “heads of damages” or categories.  The types of damages that may be claimed from the at-fault party vary from case to case. In most cases, the following broad categories of damages will apply:

General damages refer to monetary compensation for the pain and suffering that someone experiences because of an accident. Ontario is a common law jurisdiction. Therefore, in order to assess general damages, we must look at how the Courts have decided cases that are similar to each individual’s particular situation. That is, we look at what the Courts have awarded to individuals who have suffered injuries that are similar to the injured person.   We also determine what type of lifestyle the person led before an accident and the effect that the injury has had on his or her ability to continue that lifestyle.

Past Loss of income:  If a person has to stop working or take time off of work due to an injury sustained in an accident, a claim for lost income may be made.  To recover lost income the injured party must prove that he or she has not been compensated for time off of work by his or her employer or another means.  Generally, an injured party is required to exhaust all other avenues of recovery before making a claim for lost income, from the other side.

Future loss of income:  An injured person may make a claim for future loss of income if the injuries suffered leave him or her unable to work in the future.  Generally, future loss of income is calculated by looking at what income the injured person was earning at the time of the accident and projecting what his or her income would have been if the accident had not happened.

Loss of Competitive Advantage:  In some situations, an injured person may be able to return to work but his or her injuries affect the ability to do the job they were doing previously.  That is, certain injuries may make a person less competitive in the job market or in their chosen field.  If that is the case, a claim may be made for this loss, based on what the injured person might have done for a career before an accident and what he or she is able to do now.

Future care costs:  Often those injured in accidents require future treatment such as physical therapy, medication, psychological treatment, etc.   A claim can be made from the at-fault party for a contribution to these costs.  In order to pursue this claim the injured party must provide objective evidence of the need for treatment.   To make this claim an injured person is required to exhaust all other sources of funding for treatment.  For example, an injured person is first required to exhaust their own health and medical benefits before claiming treatment costs from the at-fault party.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions regarding an ongoing or potential personal injury claim.

Lesly Joseph

Partner with the Personal Injury and Litigation Group

Disclaimer: This article is an information resource. It is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional. You should not rely on this article when making legal decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship.

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