While every person who is injured in a car accident in Ontario has an accident benefits claim, not everyone will have a tort claim.
The system in Ontario is intended to limit tort actions to more serious claims. A deductible is applied to awards of general damages for pain and suffering. The amount of this deductible is significant and varies depending on the date of your accident. If the amount of general damages exceeds a certain level, the deductible may be waived.
In addition, in order to sue for pain and suffering, you must have sustained a certain level of impairment. This is known as the “threshold”. The threshold generally requires a person to have suffered an injury that results in serious and permanent impairment. The exact interpretation of the threshold definition is constantly evolving as a result of cases coming out of the courts as well as changes to the regulations under the Insurance Act.
In many cases, because of the requirement that your injury must be a permanent impairment, it may not be known immediately following the motor vehicle accident whether or not you will have a threshold crossing injury.
In addition to pain and suffering, you can advance a tort claim for pecuniary or financial losses as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Typically, the main area of economic loss will be:
You may also have a claim for:
If you are advancing a claim against an at-fault driver, you must sue within 2 years of the date of your accident. Before starting your law suit and within 120 days after your accident, you must provide the defendant driver with a notice letter setting out the particulars of your claim as required under the Insurance Act. In addition, if a government body or a municipal, county, or provincial road authority is a potential party in an action, there are very short notice requirements that must be complied with. In some cases, you may be required to give notice of a potential claim within 10 days or less following an accident.
Rastin & Associates is here for you. The days, weeks, and months after an accident can be difficult and confusing. By consulting with a lawyer early on after your accident, we can help you deal with the confusion and ensure that your legal rights are protected.