Personal injury victims are often confused about the different types of personal injury claims that can be made to compensate them for their losses. If you or a loved one has suffered life changing injuries it is certainly best to speak to one of our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers to determine your best course of action.
Typically, victims in Ontario are entitled to claim damages (another word for compensation) if that victim was hurt because another person or company was negligent. Ontario law offers a person the opportunity to sue the person or company at fault in order to claim reasonable damages in order to restore them to the position that they were in “the day before they were hurt”. In principle, victims are entitled to full recovery of past and future losses, damages and expenses, both economic or non-economic, insofar as these damages are caused by or contributed to by the wrongdoing of another person’s negligence.
The types of personal injury cases in which victims can claim damages are quite limitless. The legal process in Ontario begins with the injured victim (called the plaintiff) files a lawsuit against the individual responsible for the injury (defendant). It is important to note that personal injury is quite an “umbrella term”, covering many types of cases. The most common types of personal injury cases that we see are:
-Parking lot slip and falls
-Department store slip and falls
-Slip and Fall in a vestibules
-Slip and Fall in a restaurants
-Dog Attacks & Dog Bites
-Serious Harassment Cases
-Spinal Cord Injury Cases
-Back or neck injuries
-Orthopedic injuries ect.
We typically help many victims that have been involved in very serious accidents that leave victims with serious and potentially costly injuries. For example, during the winter, slip and falls are very common in parking lots and both indoor and outdoor shopping areas. Anyone who has spent any time in Ontario in the winter no doubt knows the hazards of trying to walk on icy or snow-clogged parking lots and properties. If you slip and fall while trying to walk across these types of properties and you are injured, you may have recourse against both the property owner and/or contractors for compensation if you can prove that they were negligent. Slip and fall accidents often cause very critical orthopedic injuries that promote costly wage losses and long-term rehabilitation.
Types of Claims and Types of Compensation
The types of personal injury claims mentioned above are certainly non-exhaustive – they all depend on the extent of a victim’s injuries and the wrongdoers negligence. However, the various types of compensation that a victim has suffered as a result of serious injuries are quite standard and non-variant across the Canada.
What types of compensation am I entitled to if I have been hurt?
Despite how Canadian law defines damages or compensation, we like to define it two ways: Economic and Non-Economic Damages.
Non-economic damages are damages that are designed to compensate you for intangible losses associated with all the different ways that your injuries have changed your life. You might have heard our Hamilton personal injury lawyers use the word “general damages”. This is the term that lawyers mostly use when they reference damages for “pain and suffering.” General damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for the pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities experienced as a result of a defendant’s negligence. They are meant to compensate victims for damages suffered presently and into the future.
How is a pain and suffering award calculated?
As your Hamilton personal injury lawyers, we try our best to ensure that your pain and suffering awards is fair and reasonable by reviewing and taking into account all of the (non-exhaustive) factors that should be considered in awarding compensation for pain and suffering. They typically include: the plaintiff’s age; the nature of the injury; the severity and duration of the pain; disability; emotional suffering; loss or impairment of life; impairment of family, marital and social relationships; impairment of physical and mental abilities; loss of lifestyle; and the plaintiff’s stoicism.
How are pain and suffering awards calculated?
Compensation for pain and suffering is conventionally fixed. Along with the list of factors above, Judges are typically bound by law to award or to restrict damage awards to those which are comparable to other case awards, the amount of rehabilitation treatment a victim received, the time away from work, the impact on the victims life and loved ones – adjusted to the extent of the plaintiff’s credibility.
What happens if your injuries cause you or your loved one to be unable to work and provide for the family? Serious injuries can no doubt send victims into crushing debt and as a result, accident victims are entitled to claim loss of past and future income that they will suffer as a direct relation to their injuries. Economic damages are designed compensate a victim in Ontario for their loss of wages, both past and future, their out-of-pocket expenses (special damages – i.e. out of pocket expenses for gas receipts, parking, destroyed property, dental costs ect.) associated with the injury or accident, their loss of housekeeping capacity and their future health expenses.
How do you prove my economic damages and loss of wages?
Several different ways. The test for any expense claimed is reasonableness. Also, It is not necessary for a you as the victim to establish on a balance of probabilities that your loss of earning capacity will occur, but only that there is a reasonable possibility of such a loss. One cannot speculate. Even if no basis has been presented for computing loss of future earning capacity, an award must be calculated which is considered fair and reasonable. Similarly, damages for loss of future income may be awarded by a Court if and as a result of your injuries, you are reasonably likely to retire early.
Insurance company lawyers love to argue that although you are hurt “you can do something” and therefore not entitled to your full losses – which is not what the law says. The law is clear that in proving your wage losses you are not required to cover every possible occupation that might be available: your Hamilton personal injury lawyers need only present occupations for which you are reasonably suited by background, age and experience and for which you might reasonably be retrained.
What if my underage child was hurt? How to you calculate what he would have made as an adult?
The process of quantifying a minor’s lost earning capacity is necessarily speculative. Our Hamilton personal injury lawyers can use the statistical evidence of an adult’s average earnings to assess lost earning capacity. A court may also infer from the a child’s family background what level of education he or she would have attained apart from the injury. A young victim must establish a reasonable possibility of pursuing a particular career if damages are to be assessed on that basis.
What if I was not working at the time of my car accident?
We often see this – for example, with a pregnant or a stay-at-home parent or a person that is…simply between jobs. You may certainly be compensated for your loss of earning capacity even if you were not working at the time of the accident, and your Hamilton personal injury lawyer can prove, based on your employment history and industrious nature, that employment would have been obtained at some point in the future.
When you calculate my loss of wages, how are taxes calculated?
In calculating damages for loss of earning capacity, the law is clear that there should be no deductions for income tax that the you would have had to pay on either pre-trial or post-trial earnings
Contact one of our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been critically hurt and suffered life changing injuries we can help. Matt Lalande has recovered millions of dollars for accident victims province wide. Call our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers today at 905-333-8888 of fill in a contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.