Personal injury law is a complex field due to the different types of damages in a personal injury case. Here in Ontario there are two primary categories of personal injury case damages, pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
Pecuniary Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Pecuniary damages, commonly referred to as ‘special’, ‘punitive’ or ‘economic’ damages, are financial awards in personal injury cases where the claimant can prove specific economic losses. These losses, including things like loss of income, loss of opportunity, medical expenses, etc., are damages assessed by tallying quantifiable losses. The specific amount of pecuniary damages awarded depends on provable economic losses.
Non-Pecuniary Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Non-pecuniary damages, commonly referred to as ‘general’ damages are awarded to successful personal injury claims that have grounds for non-economic losses. Non-economic losses are financial awards that are primarily awarded for ‘pain and suffering’, and to a much lesser extent a loss of consortium. The Supreme Court of Canada, in 1978, capped financial awards for pain and suffering at $100,000 (which has been adjusted for inflation to just over $300,000)—although that amount is generally reserved for only the most catastrophic personal injuries.
Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case
When it comes to the line-by-line specifics of what you can sue for, there are a number of awards you may be entitled to, including (but not necessarily limited to):
·damages for pain and suffering;
·past, current and future loss of income;
·repair or replacement of lost or damaged property;
·costs associated with living with a disability;
·foreseeable rehabilitation and other medical expenses;
·home-maintenance expenses should you become incapacitated or unable to perform them;
·and ‘special’ damages for out-of-pocket expenses that occur as a direct result of your accident.
How to Proceed with a Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been affected by a personal injury accident you must act quickly to file a claim to avoid degrading evidence and to avoid denial of claims by over-extending and missing your limitation period. In order to lay a claim to a structured settlement or lump-sum award you must begin your claim as soon as possible, and gather all the evidence necessary. But don’t do it alone—call Whitby’s expert personal injury legal team at Conte & Associates, and we’ll walk you through the different types of damages in a personal injury case.