The process of recovering damages in a Toronto sexual abuse injury case can be complex. There are a variety of types of potentially recoverable damages in Toronto. It remains to be seen whether the cap on general non-pecuniary damages applies in sexual abuse cases because there is no precedent where damages were awarded in excess of the cap, although the jurisprudence states that in principle, the cap may be lifted as an exception in intentional torts such as sexual abuse and defamation.
Aggravated damages will almost always be factored into general non-pecuniary damages to augment the recognition extended to the person’s psychological and emotional pain and suffering. The availability of punitive damages, which are awarded much more readily in sexual abuse cases than any other civil tort cases, is a unique aspect of this particularly horrific violation of a person’s dignity and autonomy. To learn more about the process of recovering damages, it is important to work with a skilled Toronto lawyer who can help explain and help fight for your rights to recovery.
Proof of damages follows proof of liability, and liability evidence is incredibly relevant when determining damages recovery in a Toronto sexual abuse case. The liability evidence will demonstrate whether the case is a situation of a person exploiting a position of power and trust over another person, as well as the seriousness of the abuse in question. Ultimately, evidence used to establish liability will affect the determination of damages under all heads of damages, because the nature of the wrongful act will be indicative of the source of a person’s emotional, physical and psychological pain and suffering.
Damages evidence will indicate the steps the victim had to take on the path to recovery, such as spending their own money out of pocket for therapy, drug prescriptions, and other rehabilitative activity. It will determine how badly compromised the victim’s economic position is, such as whether they are traumatized to a point where they are unable to function as a part of a workforce. Both liability and damages will be proved on the basis of demonstrative, circumstantial, and expert evidence when going through the process of recovering damages in a Toronto sexual abuse case.
A client should be as candid and honest as possible throughout their case. The intensity with which these claims can be contested means that evidence is typically subject to more vigorous challenge than in cases where the stakes are lower. For that reason, the more accurate, the more comprehensive, the more representative the evidence that the person is able to provide, the better the position of their lawyer will be in advancing that evidence to protect their best interests.
Additionally, ongoing records of written evidence can be very helpful in building a case to recover damages in Toronto sexual abuse cases. If a person keeps a diary of their thoughts, their emotions, their feelings, their reflections, and how their experience has affected them, that can be very helpful for their counsel in understanding how that person’s damages may manifest.
Representing Those Who Cannot Represent Themselves
When a person cannot represent themselves, they must have a litigation guardian in place to make legal decisions for them. A person in need of a litigation guardian may not be capable of giving instructions to a lawyer about critical decisions in the conduct of litigation, such whether to settle the case or take it to trial, what approaches should be taken when presenting evidence to recover damages, and whether to testify. These decisions require a certain amount of capacity, which the victim simply may not be able to marshal, for many reasons including the severity of their trauma.
Under those circumstances, their legal interest must be protected throughout this critical decision making. The ligation guardian’s job is to ensure that happens, whether they are a friend, a family member or simply an officer of the court.