Types of Compensatory Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve recently sustained injuries in a defective product, motor vehicle, or slip and fall accident and you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to hire a lawyer to help you determine what your case is worth.  The value of these types of cases is based on “damages” or what the financial, physical, and psychological costs of your injuries have been as well as any estimated costs in the future.  In some cases, it may include punishing the defendant’s behavior.

Although the plaintiff may not recover fully and regain their original physical condition, a personal injury lawyer can ensure that your situation will not be hopeless.  With the right legal representation in, Orillia, Stouffville or Barrie, you could be entitled to compensatory damages.  The following 3 types of compensatory damages are commonly awarded in a wide range of personal injury lawsuit settlements:

Lost income – if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries, you could be compensated for the income you’ve lost as well as what you would be earning while you are still recovering from your injuries.  In cases where an injury victim is compensated for the loss of future income this is usually referred to as the “loss of earning capacity.”  Once it is shown that the injured party has lost and will continue to lose income, then you and your personal injury lawyer can pursue compensation for this.

Medical expenses – most injuries will require medical care and treatment to some extent.  If so, you could be entitled to compensation for all expenses that you have incurred up to this point and any that occur in the future.  This could include a number of expenses including costs for:

·         medical consultations

·         prescription medications

·         time spent in clinics, hospitals, or other medical facilities

·         other medically-related expenses during recovery such as attendant care, occupational therapy, and physical therapy

If you can prove that your injuries will continue being an issue in the future and there will be additional expenses as a result, then you may also be entitled to compensation for these expenses.  Calculation of these expenses will be based on the documents and receipts that you produce as evidence for your case.  This applies to any future medical expenses that may arise.

Pain and suffering – you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering provided that you meet the legal requirements mandated by law.  This covers a wide range of damages but typically includes:

·         deformities, disfigurement, or scarring

·         emotional, physical, and psychological disabilities

·         impairment of your ability to perform your job

·         loss of companionship or consortium

·         loss of enjoyment of life

Compensation for pain and suffering is typically classified as a “non-economic” loss and is categorized under “general damages” in personal injury claims and lawsuits in Barrie, Orillia, and Stouffville which are handled by experienced personal injury lawyers in Ontario.

Steps to take before You file a Personal Injury Claim

It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but people get injured every day in the cities of Barrie, Orillia, and Stouffville.  While some individuals are lucky enough to walk away with only minor injuries, others are not so fortunate.  For these individuals, their injuries can be catastrophic and sometimes fatal.  They could also be suffering psychological injury as well as physical injury.  Worst of all, families can be left financially devastated whenever the primary wage earner is temporarily or permanently unable to work.

So what do you do after the accident has occurred? Depending on your circumstances, there may be a number of legal issues that need your attention and require the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Whether your injuries are attributed to a car accident, defective product, or slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to damages and will need to file a personal injury claim.  Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Step #1:  Naturally, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention – depending on the severity of your injuries, you may or may not be taken to the ER at the nearest Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville hospital.  A physician or healthcare professional will need to examine you and treat the injuries you’ve sustained.  It goes without saying that your health is the #1 priority, but it also makes good sense from a legal standpoint.

Your physician or healthcare professional will be able to document their findings such as the type of injuries you’ve sustained, how you were injured, the prescribed course of treatment, and how long it should take you to recover.  It is extremely important that you take this step immediately after your accident.  Otherwise, the insurance company will have a difficult time believing you were injured and will probably deny your claim.

Step #2:  Learn what you can about personal injury law – a little research of the legal process involved with establishing a claim can go a long way when it comes to personal injury cases that are similar to yours.  Personal injury is a very complex area of the law and the rules that apply to accident cases will sometimes vary, depending on the laws that apply in Barrie, Orillia, and Stouffville.  So it’s best to get an idea of what to expect and explore your options.

Step #3:  Hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you and your case – once you have completed both steps above, it’s time to hire a lawyer.  You can’t just hire any lawyer.  You need to find a personal injury lawyer in Barrie that specializes in your type of case in order to ensure the best possible outcome.  In addition to negotiating a settlement, your lawyer will ensure that your rights to compensation are protected.

You can get the referrals from your friends or family or can search online to get the contact details of the lawyers.

Looking At Orthopedic Injuries In Details From A Legal Point Of View

From a legal standpoint, orthopedic injuries are particularly in focus. They are governed in a wide array of statutes and constitute a major institute of the injuries which are subjected to compensation as per the Canadian legislation. With this in mind, it’s important to stress out that the provincial laws of Ontario aren’t that different than those officially issued and enacted by the Government and there aren’t a lot of complications arising with regard to that matter. This is important because if there is a contradiction between a provincial and governmental law the former would be overruled and wouldn’t be taken into consideration. In any case, orthopedic injuries are related to the majority of accidents in Orillia governed by personal injury law and this is the main reason for which they are a hot topic of discussion.

Orthopedic injuries included in current legislation

It’s important to note that the Common Law has numerous provisions which stipulate the liability in case of an orthopedic injury. However, it is more important to stress on particular accidents which could lead to these kinds of injuries. Slip and fall, for instance, is one of the most common issues in personal injury law and it almost always results in some sort of orthopedic injury. Now, it’s crucial to understand that any injury which involves a broken or sore bone as well as stretched muscle tissues and anything of the kind is going to be constituted as an orthopedic injury. This is why they are particularly interesting. They appear in almost every single accident. The Occupier’s Liability Act enacted back in 1990, on the 31st of December sets forth clear provisions which obligate the owner of the premise to compensate the injured person in case of such accident.

Intense Medical Attention and Possible Emotional Trauma

This is another reason for which orthopedic injuries are incredibly scrutinized from the prospective of the law. They are usually associated with a lot of physical pain and require immediate as well as intense medical attention. If an event is classified as an accident there are certain benefits that the victim is going to be able to obtain. However, there are conditions that have to be met. For instance, the amount of the benefit is going to depend on the severity of the accident. There are also a lot of different tests which are going to determine the type of benefit that you are eligible for.

The Catastrophic Impairment also has to be taken into account as it leaves possibilities for increased amount as well as enhanced types of available benefits. In any case, there are a lot of procedures to be undergone and followed strictly if you are to get what is rightfully yours.  However, it helps to have an experienced lawyer dealing with tort laws or personal injury cases to accentuate the injuries and damages that require compensation.

Grim Statistics of Motor Vehicle Accident in Toronto

The latest statistics regarding motor vehicle accidents and the fatality rates which are pretty much consequential are rather grim. Reports show that pedestrian fatalities resulted from motor vehicle accidents in Toronto have risen with over sixty percent for the last few years, to reach their absolute peak in 2015. With this in mind, the police initiated strong awareness raising campaigns in order to bring this to the attention of people and somehow limit the fatal consequences resulting from these terrible events. The reports are also showing that over 75% of the victims are senior-age pedestrians.

Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act

This led to the initiation of amendments of legislation and initiation of enacting new regulations to ensure further safety on the roads of Ontario. The particular idea behind the new legislation which was announced in the middle of summer of2015 is to reduce the overall collisions, injuries as well as the fatalities on the roads of the province. The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act was enacted and came into full effect at the early months of 2016. The main concept behind the regulations is to include stricter law enforcement actions as well as severe penalties which are supposed to have a preventive effect on those involved in the road traffic. One particular change, for instance, is that drivers are now legally obligated to wait the for the pedestrian to completely cross the road prior to proceed with his driving when he’s located at a school and pedestrian crossovers. It is hoped that implementation of proper road safety regulations in Barrie will lower the cases of pedestrian accidents and minimize car accidents too.

Preventive for accidents

In any case, there is only so much that a law can do. There are two types of protection which could be accomplished by legal regulations – preventive and repairing. The former suggests that the necessary steps are taken in order to ensure that the accident does not happen in the first place. The most common way of accomplishing this is through severe penalties. Throughout implementing harsher legal punishments, drivers are made to abide by the regulations under the fear of being slapped with charges. This is likely to be one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents.

The second type, the repairing one, aims to prevent someone who’s already caused an accident to do so again in the future. By duly enforcing the punishment which is regulated by law, the latter is going to make the perpetrator refrain for similar conduct in future under threat of even more severe charges and legal punishments. However, in order for this to work, there have to fully operational institutions and behavior-correction facilities. Otherwise, the effect could be the exact opposite with people becoming angrier with the system in Barrie, thus wanting to commit further crimes. The implementation of the most current legislation promises better results.

Making Your Personal Injury Settlement Offer – Part II

Adjusting the Value of Your Personal Injury Case

Once Barrie, Stouffville or Orillia personal injury lawyer has established what your personal injury claim is worth, adjustments will made by calculating the amount to reflect these factors:

  • Court and trial location – in Ontario Province, some venues are more conservative than others.  Consequently, settlements awarded in these areas tend to be much lower than what juries award in heavier populated, urban communities.  Whenever insurance adjusters are negotiating a settlement, they usually remember this factor.
  • Liability – if liability is established in your case, this could afford you a higher settlement amount.  However, if contributory negligence is a factor (in other words, you contributed to your injuries by virtue of your actions), then your settlement amount will be decreased based on you contributing to the fault.
  • Mitigating damages – whenever it is reasonably possible, the injury victim or plaintiff should try to reduce (mitigate) the damages in their case.  For instance, your medical expenses are higher because you did not get proper medical treatment after your accident.  Since you failed to get treated, your injuries are now harder to treat.  As a result, your claim’s value may be reduced due to failure to mitigate.
  • Multiple defendants – whenever there is more than one defendant in a personal injury case, there may be differences and issues with the amount of percentage of the total settlement amount that each one is responsible for paying.
  • Plaintiff characteristics – interestingly enough, the value of your settlement can easily be influenced by your own characteristics.  Factors that could possibly influence the final settlement amount include your age, like ability, occupation, past medical history, and so on.

A personal injury lawyer plays a significant role throughout this process.  Consequently, you should never attempt to handle your claim on your own and always rely on the experience and expertise of a personal injury lawyer to represent you and your case in Ontario.

Submitting Your Settlement Offer

At this point in the process, you and your lawyer are ready to submit your settlement offer.  A settlement demand letter will be submitted by your lawyer to the defendant and/or their insurer.  At this particular point in your case, it is not uncommon to see a lot of back-and-forth negotiations between you, your lawyer, and the defendant’s insurance company regarding what your case is worth in Barrie, Orillia, or Stouffville.

Until a settlement is reached, negotiations could be ongoing.  Naturally, the insurance company will try and settle as cheaply as possible.  After all, they are trying to protect their own interests and do not care about yours.  The reality here is that if a settlement cannot be reached, a judge and jury will be determining how much your damages are worth in court and it could take years to resolve your case as a result. It is best if your lawyer can find a price that can make the settlement faster so that you don’t have to undergo financial crisis.