What Is the Average Settlement For Pain and Suffering In a Car Accident?
After you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit following a car crash, you may be trying to determine, what is the average settlement for pain and suffering in a car accident? Your personal injury lawyer cannot guarantee that you may receive a certain amount, as your potential award depends on the unique facts of your case.
In addition to receiving compensation for your medical bills and lost wages after someone else’s negligence caused an accident in which you were injured, you also may have the ability to receive an amount for your pain and suffering.
This means you could receive money for emotional trauma, for lingering pain, and for disfigurement and disability, as these types of traumas may affect the quality of your life well into the future.
How Ontario Courts Define Pain and Suffering Awards
In a personal injury lawsuit, Ontario courts may determine that the victim deserves both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
Under Ontario law, pecuniary damages are those that can be calculated. These are specific economic losses that you can determine, such as the actual cost of medical bills, your lost wages as you recover from your injures, or the replacement cost of your vehicle.
Any type of damage award for which there is not a specific amount attached to it is a non-pecuniary award. This is an intangible amount that is not easy to quantify. For example, no doctor is able to give you a bill that shows the monetary value of emotional trauma you have suffered after an accident that a negligent driver caused.
Coming up with a fair settlement amount for the victim with regard to non-pecuniary damages is not always an easy process. Additionally, in Ontario, there are limitations on how much the court can award in non-pecuniary damages.
Understanding the Insurance Act
After an auto accident that was not your fault in which you suffered an injury, any pain and suffering amount you may receive is subject to the Insurance Act.
Upper Limit on Pain and Suffering Awards
The insurance act places an upper cap on the amount any victim could receive for pain and suffering. This cap changes from year to year, based on inflation, but as of January 2020, it was over $389,744.00
To receive an amount approaching the upper limit in a court case, you and your lawyer have to be able to show that you have suffered very significant injuries couples with very significant impairment. To reach this level, the victim must have suffered in a certain way, including:
- Catastrophic from injuries suffered in the accident.
- Catastrophic disfigurement from the accident that is permanent.
- Severe physical or psychological disability
Insurance Act Deductible
Should the Ontario courts give you an award for your pain and suffering after the accident, it is possible that you could lose a portion of the settlement to the Insurance Act statutory deductible. For a smaller award, you even could see the majority of the amount lost to what the insurance act calls the deductible.
This deductible amount varies from year to year, adjusted to match inflation. It was almost $38,000 in 2018.
However, if your award for pain and suffering exceeds a certain threshold, which was a little more than $126,000 in 2018, the deductible no longer applies, and the victim may be awarded the entire amount.
Understanding What You May Be Able to Receive
Some of this may seem extremely confusing, especially in the aftermath of a serious injury, when you are likely focused on your recovery. A personal injury lawyer may be able to explain the situation you are facing and help you understand what you may be eligible to receive.
Negotiating With the Insurer on Your Behalf
So what is the average settlement for pain and suffering in a car accident? Determining fair compensation for your pain and suffering depends in part on how negotiations go with the insurance company for the other driver. If the insurance company does not want the case to go before a Court, it may attempt to negotiate a settlement before the case reaches the court system.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we are here for you. We may study the facts in your case, helping you prove what kind of compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering, all while handling the negotiations with the insurance company for the other driver.
Call us at 1-800-JUSTICE as soon as possible for a free case review. We may give you advice to help you determine how to proceed with your case. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means we do not require payment up front.