Your Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 1-888-404-5167
Preszler Injury Lawyers

Damages That Might Be Available in Sexual Abuse Claims

If you were the victim of sexual abuse, you may be able to recover compensation for damages you have incurred as a result of the abuse you endured. By working with our Toronto sexual abuse lawyers, you might be able to recover the following types of damages.

General Damages

Non-pecuniary general damages in a Toronto sexual abuse injury claim refer to damages for pain and suffering, and that includes everything from physical injury occasioned by sexual assault to the psychological scars that are the most persistent and difficult burden to bear for the victim. All of the personal difficulties suffered by the victim in an emotional, psychological, and physical sense are part of the non-pecuniary general damages for which the abuser can be held liable.

Economic Losses

The next category of general damages is economic losses, which refers to the global valuation of the losses that have been incurred in the past and into the future that can be compensated for in monetary terms. Because of the traumatic nature of sexual abuse, a person may have difficulty holding down a job or advancing their career. It is impossible to objectively quantify lost chances, so a number has to be ascertained on the basis of projection. This projection is usually done by experts in everything from forensic accounting to vocational counseling to determine the potential economic value of which the sexually abused victim has been deprived as a result of their abuse.

Economic losses comprise what is typically the largest head of damages for which liability can be imposed. In certain circumstances, this may include a person’s entire future earning potential, determined as always on the balance of probabilities, on the basis of documentary as well as expert evidence.

Special Damages

The second head of damages in Toronto sexual abuse injury claims is what is called special damages. Special damages refer to economic losses that can be objectively quantified up to the time of trial or settlement. For example, if a person was in years of therapy that was being paid for on an out of pocket basis, that would be specifically compensable down to the dollar as special damages for which the defendant could be held liable.

Punitive Damages

The final head of damages has a double aspect–aggravated and punitive damages.

Punitive damages, which are separate from aggravated damages, are awarded to punish the wrongdoer for conduct that the court finds to be particularly reprehensible. Punitive damages are available in almost sexual abuse cases, but they are especially awarded as a matter of course in sexual abuses cases involving the breach of fiduciary duty, particularly those involving minors.

Aggravated and Punitive Damages

Aggravated damages represent a particularly significant harm suffered by the victim that may not be captured by the category of general non-pecuniary damages, but is nonetheless compensated under that head.

General non-pecuniary damages in sexual abuse injury claims in Toronto are capped in Canadian law at approximately $350,000.00 in present day dollars, pursuant to a decision of the Supreme Court in 1978 called Andrews v. Grand & Toy. In that case, wherein a young man was rendered quadriplegic in a motor vehicle accident, the court held that in order to prevent insurance premiums for casualty losses from reaching an unstable and unsustainable level, a cap would have to be imposed on damages for injury: $100,000 dollars in 1978, indexing to approximately $350,000.00 today. Because that threshold, and amount determined in relation to it, may not fairly recognize the level of harm that a person may have suffered, aggravated damages exist to acknowledge a particularly significant dimension of harm that may not be captured by non-pecuniary general damages.

Cap Exceptions

However, the courts in recent jurisprudence have indicated that the cap may not apply to intentional torts. The public policy rationale for imposing the cap to limit sky-rocketing insurance premiums is more relevant to torts of negligence than the more exceptional circumstances of intentional torts, such as sexual abuse. Ultimately, there is the question of whether or not the $350,000 cap on non-pecuniary general damages is the ceiling on the damages under that head available to sexual abuse victims, although sexual abuse victims may also be eligible for aggravated damages awards over and above traditional apportionments of non-pecuniary general damages.


Areas We Serve

Practice Areas

Call us now at

151 Eglinton Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4R 1A6
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
4145 N Service Rd
Burlington, ON
L7L 4X6
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
2 County Ct Blvd #400,
Brampton, ON
L6W 3W8
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
105 Consumers Drive
Whitby, ON
L1N 1C4
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
92 Caplan Ave #121,
Barrie, ON
L4N 0Z7
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
380 Wellington St Tower B, 6th Floor,
London, ON
N6A 5B5
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
2233 Argentia Rd Suite 302,
East Tower Mississauga, ON
L5N 6A6
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
1 Hunter St E,
Hamilton, ON
L8N 3W1
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
459 George St N,
Peterborough, ON
K9H 3R9
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
22 Frederick Street,
Suite 700
Kitchener, ON N2H 6M6
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa ON
K2P 0C2
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
10 Milner Business Ct #300,
Scarborough, ON
M1B 3C6
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
*consultation offices

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the header image and other images throughout this website may include both lawyer and non-lawyer/paralegal employees of Preszler Injury Lawyers and DPJP Professional Corporation and unrelated third parties. Our spokesperson John Fraser, or any other non-lawyer/paralegals in our marketing is not to be construed in any way as misleading to the public. Our marketing efforts are not intended to suggest qualitative superiority to other lawyers, paralegals or law firms in any way. Any questions regarding the usage of non-lawyers in our legal marketing or otherwise can be directed to our management team. Please also note that past results are not indicative of future results and that each case is unique and that case results listed on site are from experiences across Canada and are not specific to any province. Please be advised that some of the content on this website may be out of date. None of the content is intended to act as legal advice as each situation is independent and unique and requires individual legal advice from a licensed lawyer or paralegal. For legal advice on your individual situation – we can provide legal guidance after you have contacted our firm and we have established a lawyer-client relationship contractually. Maximum contingency fee charged is 33%. Finally, our usage of awards and logos for awards does not suggest qualitative superiority to other lawyers, paralegals or law firms. All awards received from third party organizations have been done so through their own reasonable evaluative process and do not include any payment for these awards except for the use of the award logos for our marketing assets. We are also proud to service additional provinces like Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.