If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario and you seek compensation from the at-fault driver, some of your claims for compensation are subject to a deductible and a test, commonly called the “threshold” test. This threshold test and deductible are explained below.
When you’re injured in car accident in Ontario, you can claim a number of different types of compensation, such as compensation for:
• pain and suffering
• past and future losses of income
• out-of-pocket expenses
• past and future expenses for medical rehabilitation
• past and future expenses of housekeeping and home maintenance
• claims by family members of the injured person, called Family Law Act claims
Three of these types of compensation are subject to the threshold and/or a deductible:
1. pain and suffering
2. past and future medical & rehabilitation expenses, and
3. Family Law Act claims for losses of care, guidance and companionship from the injured person.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
The threshold test applies to pain and suffering claims arising from car accidents in Ontario. In order to secure any compensation at all for your pain and suffering, your accident injuries must cause you to suffer either:
1. a serious and permanent impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function, or
2. a serious and permanent disfigurement, such as extensive scarring.
In order for your impairments to be serious, they must either prevent you from returning to your pre-accident employment or cause you significant interference with your activities of daily, normal life.
In order for your impairments to be permanent, it’s enough that they’re unlikely to significantly improve in the foreseeable future.
Even if you meet the threshold test for pain and suffering, there is a $30,000 deductible that applies to reduce your pain and suffering compensation (unless your pain and suffering is worth more than $100,000, in which case there is no deductible). This means that if you are awarded between $0 and $100,000 for your pain and suffering, you do not receive the first $30,000. For instance, if your pain and suffering is worth $50,000, you only collect $20,000. If your pain and suffering is worth more than $100,000, you collect the full amount.
Medical Rehabilitation Expenses
Medical and rehabilitation expenses which are not covered by OHIP or your Accident Benefits insurer are also claimed in a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Such claims are also subject to the threshold test. This means that you cannot collect compensation for medical or rehabilitation costs unless you meet the threshold test.
Family Law Act Claims
Sometimes, family members of car-accident victims can also make claims for their losses of care, guidance and companionship from the injured person. Such claims are also subject to the threshold test unless the injured person died from their accident injuries. There is also a deductible of $15,000 for such family claims if they’re valued at $50,000 or less.
If you have any questions about the Threshold test or Deductible, feel free to call us. One of our lawyers would be happy to speak with you, free of charge, to answer your questions and help you determine if you have a case and what it might be worth.
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