Personal injuries can be devastating, often financially, physically and emotionally impacting the victim as well his or her family. This is why personal injury cases allow victims to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered. However, these cases are difficult to put a price on, and many factors play a role in determining how much a case is worth.
The seasoned Windsor personal injury lawyers of Greg Monforton & Partners will evaluate your case and provide you with an accurate estimate of the value of your claim. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team today to learn what your case may be worth.
Factors that Can Affect the Value of Your Claim
Although there is no way to accurately determine the value of your case without having the details reviewed by a personal injury lawyer, there are certain factors that will affect the amount of compensation that could be awarded in your case.
- Severity of your injuries: The severity of your injuries will determine the amount of medical treatment you need. Some injuries require less care than others, while some may require years of further treatment and therapy, or may affect the victim for life.
- Liability: Who was liable for the accident will affect who is responsible for compensating the victim. In some situations, there will only be one party liable for your injuries and in others there may be multiple parties liable. If liability is contested, or if the at-fault party thinks the injury victim was partly to blame for his or her injuries, compensation may be reduced.
- Your ability to work: An injury that results in ongoing complications may affect the victim’s ability to work his or her current job. A resulting disability may prevent a victim from working at all, preventing him or her from earning any wages. Injuries may also impact the victim’s ability to perform daily activities, household work and recreational tasks.
- Time missed from work: Obtaining medical care and participating in ongoing treatment for accident injuries may require the victim to miss work, therefore missing out on earning income.
Common Personal Injury Claim Damages
A personal injury claim can provide various types of damages, including:
Generally, personal injury damages include compensation for costs associated with medical treatment. This can include hospital and physician bills, out-of-pocket expenses for your care, and even estimated costs for future treatment of the accident injury.
Lost Compensation and Earning Capacity
If an injury victim can no longer work in the same or a similar job and earn the same wages, he or she may be entitled to compensation for lost earning capacity. Similarly, time missed while the victim was recovering may also be compensated.
However, for those who were injured in a car accident, Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule states that lost income cannot be claimed for the first seven days following an accident. Furthermore, you can only receive up to 70 percent of your net lost income, minus accident benefits that have been paid. Following the trial, the victim may be awarded 100 percent of his or her gross lost income.
Home Maintenance and Housekeeping Service
If the injury prevents you from performing regular duties around your home, you may be awarded compensation to allow you to hire someone to perform these essential services for you.
Compensation may be awarded for property damaged in an accident. The cost of repairs may be reimbursed or you may be able to recover the fair market value of destroyed property. These may include damage to your vehicle or other personal items.
Typically, the automobile insurer pays for these expenses, though if the company denies a claim or does not compensate for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, the victim may seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering from an accident injury can significantly affect the victim’s life, presently and ongoing. These damages are considered non-pecuniary and have been capped at approximately $370,000 by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Individuals who were injured through a motor vehicle accident must meet certain requirements to obtain compensation for pain and suffering. The injury must have caused:
- Permanent significant disfigurement, such as scarring or loss of a limb
- Permanent significant impairment of critical function, physically, mentally or psychologically
If an injury meets these requirements and compensation exceeds the threshold of about $100,000 in 2017, the injury victim will not be subject to a deductible. However, if the threshold is not met, the victim will face a $30,000 deductible, which will be subtracted from the damages the victim receives.
Claims by Family Members
The family of an accident victim may also experience losses due to the victim’s injuries and can file claims for compensation under the Family Law Act (FLA).
FLA claims are subject to a deductible of $15,000 if a car accident claim does not exceed $50,000 – the deductible does not apply in any claim where death results. Eligible family members include:
Compensation that may be awarded to a family member includes:
- Expenses reasonably obtained for the benefit of the victim
- Lost income of the victim
- Funeral expenses
- Reasonable travel expenses for visiting the victim during his or her recovery or medical treatments
- Lost services that would have been provided by the victim, such as housekeeping or childcare
- Lost guidance, companionship or care the family member would have reasonably expected to get from the victim if the death or injury did not happen
How Your Actions Affect the Value of Your Claim
Aside from the at-fault party’s actions, your actions could also have an impact on the value of your personal injury case. If something you did or did not do played a role in causing the accident or worsening your injuries, your damages may be reduced.
Examples of a victim’s actions or lack thereof that could lower the value of his or her personal injury claim include:
- The victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. If the defendant is able to prove seatbelt use would have either reduced the severity or prevented the injury, the victim may be found partially at fault in the accident.
- The victim did not wear a helmet while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. If the dependent can prove helmet use would have prevented the injury or reduced its severity, the victim could be found partially at fault.
Failing to seek medical care, not following doctor’s orders pertaining to recovery, or not pursuing vocational job retraining could also cause the claim’s value to be reduced.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers Now
Valuing a personal injury claim is difficult, especially when so many variables are involved. It is in your best interest to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who knows how to determine what your case is worth to maximize the compensation you receive.
The Windsor personal injury lawyers of Greg Monforton & Partners have helped numerous clients get the compensation they deserve. Let us review your case and perform the necessary investigation to determine just how much your injury case is worth.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn what legal options may be available to you. All cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we successfully help you recover compensation in your case.