You have the right to seek compensation in a personal injury case for pain and suffering as an accident victim by suing the at-fault driver. There is no set amount of compensation in these cases. An award for non-pecuniary damages must be reasonable and fair even though they are of a philosophical nature and an exercise in policy rather than legal or logical. This award also has to be arbitrary or conventional. There are now limits to general damages because pain and suffering awards had soared dramatically. It was decided by the Supreme Court that pain and suffering awards must be stabilized. After that decision, $100,000.00 was the recovery limit, increased by inflation to $350,00.00.
Due to provisions of the Insurance Act, claims for general accidents are discouraged if the victim sustained minor injuries in a car accident. Pain and suffering awards must meet two conditions.
Statutory Deductible: This deductible does not allow the claimant to receive money for general damages, unless from the beginning, the claim is more than $30,000.00.
Threshold Injury: A threshold injury is the only type of pain and suffering compensation damages that a car accident victim can receive. These threshold negligent claims are payable if the victim has died from the accident, sustained a disfigurement that is serious and permanent or permanent impairment of a psychological, mental or seriously physical function.
This means a victim’s claim will not be awarded pain and suffering compensation unless they pass the threshold conditions. If the lawsuit is then unsuccessful, they could possibly be ordered to pay legal fees for the defendant due to the case not being successful. This determination is often not asked of the court until after trial, after incurred expenses on both sides and after a lot of legal fee money. In this case the plaintiff’s case is lost and they lose a lot of money.
How do I Determine if my Injury Meets the Legal Threshold?
The following three questions are asked by the Courts in determination of passing the threshold.
• Is the impairment of the injured person a permanent mental, physical or psychological function?
• If yes, is the permanently impaired function an important one?
• If yes, is the important function seriously impaired?
These questions are considered by the Court per individual, not average persons. It is then determined how an individual plaintiff’s life has been impacted by the injuries and impairments. If you need more clarification and want to understand how this will affect your claim, it is best to talk with an injury lawyer in Leduc and Cochrane. They will help you understand the nuances of your claim and then they will walk you through the process.