Injured by a negligent driver? What you need to know.

Injured by a negligent driver? What you need to know.

In Ontario, we have the Superior Court of Justice that hears all types of cases. One of the most common cases in the Superior Court of Justice involve injuries suffered by innocent people by negligent and careless drivers. However, when an innocently injured person seeks to be compensated for what was negligently taken from them, they are in for a shock. In Ontario, if a negligent driver causes a serious injury to an innocent person and that injured person cannot return to work, the law limits the injured person’s loss of income to just 70% of their income losses before the case gets to trial.

The civil justice system in Ontario is slow and cumbersome. Most cases take 5-7 years to get to a trial. That means that an innocently injured person who cannot work due to a negligent driver and was making $50,000 a year at the time of the injury, if the case takes 7 years to get to trial, the person loses out on $105,000 a year of unpaid income. This is not fair. Why should an innocently injured person not be fully compensated for their income loss?

Hold on, it gets worse. In Ontario, if a negligent or even a drunk driver injures you in a crash, the most important damages that values your pain, your lack of being able to do the activities you love, your lack of sleep, your loss of independence and your overall change to your life will be arbitrarily reduced by a “statutory deductible” that increases every year with inflation. Currently, as of January 1, 2022, the deductible on these human damages is $41,503.50. This means that if a judge or jury returns a verdict to value what was taken from you by a negligent driver of $100,000 for your pain and suffering, you actually only get $58,496.50. You must be asking why is this the case? The reason is to save multi-billion dollar insurance companies money. There is no other reason. This not fair and needs to be changed.

What can you do? First, be aware of these limitations on damages for innocently injured people in automobile collisions in Ontario. If you are called for jury duty and the case about a person injured in a car wreck, be aware that the damages will be reduced by $41,503.50. So, if you believe the injured person should have a verdict for pain and suffering of $100,000, consider a verdict of $140,000. Second, speak to your MPP about how the civil justice system in Ontario is unfair to people injured by motor vehicle collisions. Speak out against these arbitrary limits on damages. Why should someone injured by a negligent driver be paid less in compensation than someone injured by a negligent doctor in a medical malpractice case or someone injured by negligent maintenance of property in a premises liability, slip and fall case?

If we all speak out about this unfairness change will come. Be part of that change.