When you suffer a personal injury in an accident, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party to cover your damages and expenditures. Common personal injuries include slip & fall, motor vehicle accidents, and dog bites.
Calculating the settlement amount can be a complicated process, especially in the case of severe injuries. That’s why it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer in Brampton who can pursue fair compensation. Since every personal injury case is unique, hiring an experienced lawyer is your best bet to receive a fair representation.
But settlements vary, and specific circumstances will impact the compensation you receive. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand the basic facts that determine what a personal injury might be worth.
Here’s how a personal injury settlement is calculated in Ontario.
How Is the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement Determined in Ontario?
Let’s take a look at the factors that determine settlements in personal injury cases in Ontario.
1. Type of Damage
Broadly, there are two types of damage for which claimants can seek a settlement in personal injury cases:
- General Damages – Any damage that isn’t quantifiable in terms of economic value is classified into two subcategories: pecuniary and non-pecuniary. The former includes economic losses that can’t be quantified objectively, such as the loss of earning capacity and future earnings. The latter refers to damages that can’t fully be compensated with money. These include loss of quality of life, emotional and physical pain and suffering, and the loss of consortium.
- Special Damages – Special damages refer to those that can be recovered through financial compensation, such as quantifiable economic losses. They typically include lost wages, special assistive devices, ongoing care costs, and out-of-pocket medical care and therapies.
However, evaluating both non-economic and economic losses can be difficult as many facts surrounding the case need to be considered. For instance, loss of earning potential and lost wages depend on the victim’s career prospects and current wages.
2. Loss of Income
The personal injury claim settlement amount for loss of income depends upon various factors, including the time the victim takes to recover. Other factors taken into account include:
- How stable the injured person’s earnings had been
- Whether their taxes were paid on time
- Whether an automobile collision caused the income loss
- Where the recoverable losses can be reduced.
In general, a personal injury lawyer will try to determine the exact value of lost wages over the initial few years. Then they draw a general conclusion regarding the rest of the victim’s career.
When dealing with larger cases that may be taken to trial, your lawyer may hire an economic loss expert such as an economist, actuary, or accountant. Their primary job will be to analyze the injured individual’s earning history and work along with employment statistics and trends. They will then use this data to create a report and help both parties understand the extent of the expected economic losses.
3. Limits on Settlement Value
Canada caps how much a claimant can be awarded for non-pecuniary damages at around $340,000. So, only if the victim suffers severe injuries will they be likely to receive a settlement that high. Most non-pecuniary damages are awarded to individuals who suffer disfigurement, permanent injuries, paralysis, or the loss of limbs. Moreover, if you sustained injuries in a car accident, certain other limits may be applicable, including:
- Permanent impairment (psychological, physical, or mental)
- Permanent disfigurement
So, if the victim sustains a soft tissue injury that hasn’t caused any permanent damage, this won’t meet the threshold to recover non-pecuniary damages.
When your personal injury lawyer in Brampton is working out a settlement offer, the first and foremost thing they will look for is liability. As mentioned, every personal injury case is unique, but you can rest assured knowing that your insurance provider will settle for a higher amount if liability does not fall on you.
However, sometimes the at-fault party will deny blame. In that case, your lawyer will hire an investigator. Similarly, if you’ve been involved in a workplace accident and your employer refuses to fairly compensate you, your WSIB lawyer will do the same. Keep in mind that it’s their job to search for evidence to help your case. By investigating, they will get a clear picture and help you receive suitable compensation.
5. Household Expenditures
After sustaining severe injuries, you may not be able to perform daily tasks such as cleaning, laundry, cooking, and childcare. This may require asking a family member to help or hiring a professional. This requires you to speak to your health care providers to better understand how long you will need to recover and, hence, require help for everyday tasks. With this data, your personal injury lawyer in Brampton will be able to calculate the compensation you should receive to cover necessary expenses.
Personal injury cases, including claims, can be difficult to navigate. That’s why it’s important to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Brampton promptly. They are your best bet to receive fair compensation for your losses.