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Understanding the “Threshold” Under the Ontario Insurance Act
The law and processes surrounding litigation when it comes to personal injury are incredibly complex, and that is why an entire well-paid profession has arisen for people who understand it. Of course the majority of people are going to wonder what their case is worth when they experience a personal injury, but there are many things about the process that are hard to understand. One of these is the so-called “threshold” in tort proceedings. Let us help explain how it works under the Ontario Insurance Act.
What damages does it cover?
When you go into court for a personal injury claim, you will often be awarded compensation based on a few major factors, including losses, expenses, inability to contribute to pension, and pain and suffering. While the others are relatively clear, pain and suffering is very ambiguous and it is up to the courts to decide. That is where the insurance act comes in. In order to qualify for pain and suffering, and pass this threshold, it will have to have resulted in death, permanent disfigurement or serious impairment of physical or mental capacities.
What does it mean for your claim?
The Supreme Court of Ontario ruled in 1978 that pain and suffering were not actually restitution because it held that no amount of money could possible make up for what you had lost. This means that the money given to you was simply given to make life better after your accident. This means that after future income and medical expenses are accounted for, the extra money that you get is not only capped, but is also subject to a threshold. In order to make a claim for pain and suffering, you must pass this threshold, and if you do there is a $30,000 deductible. There is a $15,000 deductible for Family Law Act claims. This means that if you are awarded $80,000, then either $30,000 or $15,000 will be deducted automatically depending on which claim you make. If the claim exceeds $100,000, then the deductible will not be applied, and if it exceeds $50,000 under the Family Law Act, the same holds true.
This means that it is very difficult for you to receive pain and suffering because the sums are so high. There are positives and negatives to this. For example, on the one hand it helps keep the system under control, and doesn’t allow for outrageous claims that would overload the court, and doesn’t create a tort atmosphere where people are capable of suing for anything and everything; on the other hand, it stops a lot of people from getting compensation for real suffering that they have incurred, and many argue that the threshold is too high. It remains that if your case does not meet this threshold, then there is chance that it isn’t worth it to pursue.
Understanding personal injury law is very difficult, and that is why you need a professional law team to help guide you every step of the way. We want you to better under the threshold issue so you can know what your claim is worth, and know what to expect down the line. If you think yours meets it, then it is time to talk to the area’s most trusted personal injury law team.