Information on Motor Vehicle Tort Claims in Ontario
Liability & Damages
There are two parts to any lawsuit arising out of a motor vehicle collision. First, one must be able to establish liability against the at fault driver and/or any other party who may be liable for the incident. The second part is to establish that you have sustained losses as a result of the other party’s actions or inactions. In order to bring a lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle collision in Ontario you must be able to prove both liability and damages.
In Ontario, you may be entitled to sue for losses arising from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision if another person is at fault. These losses include:
- pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life;
- loss of income;
- housekeeping and home maintenance losses;
- future care expenses; and
- special damages
Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Non-pecuniary general damages are awarded for intangible injures that serve the purpose of putting the Plaintiff in the position he or she would have been in had the injuries not occurred. These are the damages awarded for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Loss of Income
If as a result of the injuries you sustained in the collision you have sustained a loss of income, you are entitled to sue for that lost income. These damages are broken down into past and future loss. For past loss of income you are entitled to 70% of your gross pre-trial income. For any future income loss you are entitled to 100% of your gross income. Both past and future income loss damages are subject to reduction for other income loss benefits such as income replacements benefit or disability benefits, and you are not entitled to claim any pre-trial income loss for the first 7 days after the collision.
Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Losses
If as a result of the collision you sustain an impairment that results in an inability to perform the housekeeping and home maintenance services that you normally performed before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss of housekeeping and home maintenance capacity. This would include compensation for your loss to complete previous chores, compensation for difficulties you may have in completing your pre injury chores and compensation for any out of pocket expenses in relation to housekeeping and home maintenance.
All past, present, and future health care expenses not covered by OHIP or by your accident benefits insurer are claimable if your injuries pass the “threshold test” as set out by the Insurance Act.
Out of Pocket Expenses
You are entitled to recover all out of pocket expenses, known as special damages, which you have incurred as a result of your injuries. In order to claim these damages you must be able to substantiate your losses. It is recommended that all receipts are kept and all expenditures are clearly and accurately recorded.