People who are injured by someone else’s wrongdoing are generally entitled to compensation. The purpose of compensation is to put the injured person back to the same position they were in before being injured.
In order to determine how much compensation someone is owed, personal injury lawyers consider the following questions:
- What are your injuries?
- How severe are your injuries?
- How long will your injuries last? How they will affect you in the long-term?
- How much do your injuries affect your work and personal life?
- How much income will you lose over your entire lifetime due to your injuries?
- Are you less competitive in the market place due to your injuries?
- How much have your injuries affected your housekeeping chores?
- What treatment will you need now and in the future?
- What out-of-pocket expenses do you have related to your injuries?
- How does the law value your injuries and losses?
- Who is at fault for the accident?
People injured by someone else’s wrongdoing are usually entitled to damages for pain and suffering. Lawyers calculate pain and suffering damages by looking at what judges have awarded people with similar injuries. The more severe the injury is, the higher the award. The more the injuries have affected your life, the higher the award. The longer you experience symptoms, the higher the award. The maximum award in Canada for pain and suffering damages is in the range of $360,000.
People who are not able to do their household chores are able to recover compensation for their loss of housekeeping capacity over their lifetime, even if a family member has taken on the tasks for them. You are generally awarded fair market value for each hour of housekeeping that your injury prevents you from doing.
People who have lost income as a result of their injuries or will lose income as a result of their injuries are entitled to have it replaced. If your injuries make you less valuable as a worker (for example, you cannot do heavier tasks or work longer hours), then you are likely entitled to compensation for loss of income earning capacity. Loss of income awards should take into account all money that someone will lose as a result of their injuries over their entire working career.
Injured people are entitled to be compensated for the cost of the treatment or rehabilitation expenses they need for the rest of their lives. You may need physiotherapy, massage therapy or counseling in the future. You may need help cleaning your home or doing your yard chores. You may need re-training at work. You may have to spend money on painkillers or other medications. All of these amounts should be recoverable.
If you were partially at fault for your accident, then your damages will be accordingly reduced. For example, if you were 50% at fault for an accident, then your damages will be reduced by 50%.