Some compensatory damages are fairly easy to quantify, such as reimbursement for property damage and medical bills, while others are more difficult, such as placing a monetary value on pain and suffering or the inability to return to the activities you previously enjoyed because of physical limitations caused by the accident. Of course every accident is different as is every person and the situation involved. In assessing your claim, however, there are common injury related factors that impact the value of an insurance claim by an insurance company, outlined here below.


When someone else is responsible for your injuries as a result of neglect, the severity of your injuries is one of the largest factors that affect your compensation – the greater the damage, the higher the compensation. Catastrophic impairment, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, total loss of a limb or extremity, blindness, or a brain injury of defined severity, for example, will result in a higher settlement than a non-catastrophic impairment, because of the significant impact on the victim’s life and the cost of future care. Among non-catastrophic injuries, more compensation tends to be awarded for a hard injury (e.g., a broken bone, head injury, vertebrae injury, nerve damage, joint injury) than a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation. 


If you have a permanent injury (e.g., a scar, stiffness, weakness or loss of mobility) or a long-term injury or disability as a result of the accident, the compensation will be greater than if you had a short recovery period or no residual or permanent injury. Your ability to earn an income may be disrupted for a lengthy period, if not permanently. Similarly, with a longer recovery period, there is a longer term of treatment needed and more expenses that need to be outlaid and recovered.


The applicable legislation in your case can impact your compensation. If your personal injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, for example, the Insurance Act, R.S.O.1990 requires that you have sustained a “permanent serious disfigurement” or a “permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function” to meet the threshold to collect non-monetary damages. These same restrictions do not apply to or limit other personal injury cases.

A statutory deductible also applies to car accident injuries, with the intention of discouraging individuals with minor injuries from pursuing a claim. A $30,000 deductible exists for non-pecuniary general damages unless the total amount of the award is reaches $100,000, in which case there is no deductible. If you were injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in the Oshawa and Whitby area.


The impact of an accident on your life will affect the settlement, such that the greater the negative impact, the higher the compensation. If you have a substantial inability to personally take care for yourself or conduct housekeeping functions, you will need compensation to hire help. If you have physical or emotional problems resulting from the injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, then your accident compensation can also be expected to be higher than if you just dealt with the original injury. 

If you are unable to work as a result of the accident, compensation can be anticipated for past loss of income and for future loss of income. Other daily life disruptions incurred, such as missed school, training, recreation, vacation or cancelled a special event (e.g., a wedding or your participation in a competitive sport), may also raise your compensation.

If you have a relationship with a spouse that has been negatively impacted (e.g., inability to maintain a sexual relationship) or your relationship with your children has been negatively impacted (e.g., loss of emotional support) from the accident, then compensatory damages may also be awarded pursuant to Ontario’s Family Law Act (FLA). These FLA claims are subject to a $15,000 deductible unless the claim exceeds $50,000. A qualified personal injury lawyer in Oshawa can help you understand the compensation you are entitled to. 


The nature and type of medical treatment required after the injury also impacts a settlement claim. A need for certain rehabilitation benefits such as vocational training or counseling, work place modifications, home modifications, social rehabilitation counseling, will increase the value of your claim, particularly where it is recommended by a physician. By contrast, if your medical expenses were primarily for diagnosis instead of treatment, your claim may be valued less.

If your medical treatment is provided by a medical doctor, clinic or hospital then it will have a higher value from a compensation standpoint than treatment provided by a non-M.D. provider in a private treatment facility. This is one of the insurance industry’s prejudices, in favouring mainstream Western treatment by physicians, hospitals and medical clinics over physical therapy, chiropractic acupuncture and other nonmainstream medical treatment. If you are unsure as to what compensation you are entitled to, a personal injury lawyer in the Whitby area, or a lawyer in Ajax can help.


The duration of treatment needed can also impact your compensation, as long-term medical or rehabilitation expenses will cost you more than brief treatment. The duration of disability is also a critical factor in assessing damages. An ongoing disability will attract greater compensation than an injury that slowly heals.


Once the amount of your compensation is determined, the personal injury lawyers involved will assess whether you have any liability for the injuries sustained. If it is determined that you contributed to the accident and therefore share some fault for it, then you will receive a lesser settlement. A lawyer in the Bowmanville area can assess your case and inform you of possible outcomes. For example, if you failed to wear your seatbelt in a car accident, you could be found to be up to 20 percent contributory negligent if the defence can prove that proper use of a seatbelt would have prevented or reduced the injury. In this situation, total compensation that would have been $100,000, for example, could be $80,000 instead.


Your compensation may also be impacted by your own credibility and that of the other party and any witnesses. You need to be genuine and consistent about your case, and should avoid the use of social media while your claim is outstanding.


At Kitchen Simeson & Belliveau LLP, our lawyers in Oshawa handle various types of personal injury law cases, including car accidentsslip and fallsdog/animal bites and long-term disability claim disputes. Our Oshawa lawyers will review your case with you and explain the applicable laws to you. For trusted and recommended legal assistance, contact a personal injury lawyer in Oshawa at our firm. Our Personal Injury Lawyers serve WhitbyLindsayCobourg, and surrounding area residents. At KSB LLP, we will fight for your right to fair compensation. Call 905-579-5302 today!