Under Ontario’s no-fault auto insurance system, accident victims still have the right to sue to collect damages under specific circumstances. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that is not your fault, you have two years from the date of the accident to start a lawsuit against the at-fault party for pain and suffering. In order to prove a chronic pain claim, you’ll need to meet a specific threshold.
Threshold to Make a Claim for Pain and Suffering
The threshold to prove a chronic pain claim in Ontario requires that your injuries result in “permanent, serious disfigurement, or a permanent, serious impairment of important physical, mental, or psychological function.”
There is also a $30,000.00 deductible on claims for pain and suffering worth less than $100,000.00. What this means is that if your claim is determined to be worth $99,999.00, it would be reduced by $30,000.00 before you would see any money at all. If, however, it is worth just one dollar more and meets the $1000, 000.00 cut-off, you would be entitled to recover the full $100,000.00.
What you Need to Prove a Chronic Pain Claim
Since you won’t be able to collect any money for your injuries unless they are serious and permanent anyway, you will have to show that your chronic pain is severe enough to affect your life in a significant manner on a daily basis. You would have to be able to show that it has restricted your usual activities of daily living.
To prove a chronic pain claim, consider whether any (or all) of the following statements are true and if you have medical reports or findings from your family doctor, medical specialists, psychologists or other practitioners to support them:
- Have you had to quit work, modify your work schedule or change the type of work that you do because of your pain?
- Have you had to turn down promotions or choose not to apply for work opportunities because of your pain?
- Do you have difficulty standing, walking or sitting for a long time because of your pain?
- Are you required to use a brace, cane or any other type of assistive device because of your pain?
- Does your pain interfere with your sleep? How much?
- Does it interfere with your ability to do housework?
- Are you experiencing pain to the level that it interferes with your ability to perform your job?
- Does the level of your pain interfere with your relationships with others?
- Are you able to perform tasks like going up and down stairs and lifting items without much difficulty?
- Is your level of pain intense enough that you have had to curtail your social activities since the accident?
- Have you had to cut back on or change the type of recreational activities you participate in due to your pain since the accident? In what way?
Keep a Pain Diary
Along with getting detailed medical reports from the professionals who have been treating you since your accident, it’s a good idea to keep a pain diary. Since the time from the date of the accident to a settlement of your case or a trial will likely take a few years, you can’t be expected to remember all the details about your level of pain and the challenges you were facing at different points along the way.Keeping a written record of how you are feeling and your challenges will help to build your case for chronic pain that persists from year to year.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, speak to one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Conte Associates by calling 1-877-614-0008. Based in Vaughan and Whitby/Oshawa, Conte & Associates works with clients in Vaughn and Whitby and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough.