Being in a car accident is terrifying. Being in a truck accident can be even scarier. An injured individual can work with a skilled accident lawyer to help recover damages after their Toronto truck accident, through the form of compensation. This may help them in their recovery period, and may help them to adjust to life after an accident. Contact an experienced injury lawyer right away to begin your case following your accident and to learn about the varying types of damages you could receive.
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Economic damages are referred to as pecuniary damages and pecuniary damages include amounts for past loss of income, future loss of income, any out of pocket expenses, any future healthcare expenses, and past healthcare expenses that the person may have.
Anything that costs someone money or is related to their income is considered economic damages. For instance, if the person sustained an injury that prevents the person from working, their loss of income would be considered an economic damage. Also, if a person’s injury requires them home to be modified because they are now unable to navigate the stairs, those out of pocket expenses are all things that would be considered economic damages.
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Examples of Economic Damages
Loss of income is the most frequently sought out economic or pecuniary damage after a Toronto truck accident. It is related to a party’s past and future loss of income. Loss of earning capacity is another form of economic damages that fall under the broad heading of loss of income. Loss of earning capacity relates to the impairment to a person’s ability to earn income in comparison to what they could have earned prior to the accident. The theory goes that their ability to earn has been diminished as a result of their injuries.
Loss of Housekeeping and House Maintenance Services
A loss of housekeeping and house maintenance services is another form of economic loss. This type of loss includes the cost that would be required to hire somebody to replace that person’s ability to maintain their home. The theory behind this loss is that the person who is sustained an injury will now have to incur this expense that he or she would not have but for the accident.
However if an injured party already had a housekeeper prior to the accident, these costs would not be recoverable unless there are exceptional circumstances or if there was a change in circumstances.
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Loss of Interdependency
Loss of interdependency means that in the event that the person has serious injuries and the person may no longer be able to find a spouse who would share expenses and life moving forwards.
Future Healthcare Expenses
Future health care expenses relate to all forms of healthcare expenses that are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Items generally not covered are treatment in the form of physiotherapy, prescription medication, chiropractic care, acupuncture, attendant care services, and even caregiver services.
For all types of economic damages following a Toronto truck accident, the courts will require expert input and will consider the plaintiff’s age, their health both pre-accident and post-accident, their life expectancy, pre-accident earning capacity, the level of education and other talents.
Non-economic damages are also referred to as non-pecuniary damages. Non-pecuniary damages are what most people refer to as pain and suffering.
However, and suffering also includes:
- Emotional anguish
- Reputational damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Amounts for pain and suffering also apply in the family law setting but are referred to differently. These claims in the family law content related to claims for loss of care or guidance and companionship.
In negligent truck accident claims in Toronto, damages in the form of pain and suffering awards have been capped. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada, in the decision of Andrews vs. Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd, found that the maximum a person could receive for their pain and suffering was $100,000. Indexing that amount for inflation, it is now approximately $370,000.
The catch in Ontario is that if the person is involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle or more specifically, if the person has been injured by what is considered a protective defendant which has been defined under the Insurance Act as an owner or operator of vehicle or person that was present at the scene of the accident, then those defendants and more specifically, their insurance company, has protection under the Act against claims for pain and suffering.
That protection hurts the victim of an accident. In practice, in order for the victim to receive any compensation for pain and suffering in an accident claim, the victim will have to prove that they not only have to have a serious and permanent impairment of an important bodily function and/or a permanent serious disfigurement, but their injuries will also have to exceed the statutory deductible of approximately $37,000.
What that means is that, if the person’s injury was worth $30,000 for pain and suffering, after the deductible, provided the person did have a serious and permanent injury or permanent serious disfigurement, after applying the deductible of $37,000, the victim would not recover anything for their pain and suffering. This threshold and deductible will only apply to non-economic or non-pecuniary claims. They do not apply to economic claims. Although, there are further restrictions on what people can receive for past loss of income in the truck accident.
Damages a Person Can Recover After a Truck Accident
Under the accident benefits claim, there are a variety of prescribed benefits. After June 1, 2016, there were further reductions to the accident benefits schedule and now people are entitled to a maximum of $65,000 under the standard automobile policy for medical and rehabilitation expenses which also include attendant care benefits. A person can also receive up to $400 a week for income replacement benefit which is calculated as 70%.
They can receive both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages which are economic and non-economic damages. Pain and suffering is what most people are looking for following their truck accident, as well as past loss of income, future loss of income, any out of pocket expenses that relate to the accident.
Attendant care services, caregiver benefits, or losses related to caregiving, loss of household services, inability to do one’s housekeeping and home maintenance and other future healthcare expenses that relate to the cost of treatment moving forward. Although there is publicly funded healthcare, there are many exclusions from publicly funded healthcare. For instance, chiropractic cares, physiotherapy, dental treatment, and other types of healthcare are not paid for by the Province of Ontario. As such, those damages have to be sought through the at-fault party.
If, however, the person is at fault for the accident and the person has no viable claim against another driver, then the only recourse the person has is under the statutory accident benefits schedule and/or an accident benefits claim.