Ontario Car Accidents
Ontario's car insurance system is difficult to understand. A lot of people think that the system is "no-fault", meaning that you are not allowed to sue if you are injured in an accident. That is not entirely true.
If you are injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are probably entitled to certain "no-fault benefits", but you may also have the right to sue at-fault parties for your injuries. The right to sue is not unlimited in Ontario.
Car Accidents in Ontario
There are a number of restrictions on an injured person's ability to sue for injuries and damages from an accident. One restriction is known as the "threshold". The threshold is a legal test that an injured person has to meet in many cases to be able to claim for some types of losses, such as pain and suffering. If you do not meet the threshold, then, in many cases, you are not entitled to anything for pain and suffering. The threshold does not apply to everything (ie: income losses). To meet the threshold, the test is often, whether or not the injured person sustained a "permanent, serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function". These words are interpreted by statutes and case-law.
Another restriction on an injured person's right to sue, is the "deductible". The deductible is an amount of money that, in many cases, is subtracted from whatever amount your pain and suffering is worth. Under bill 198, the deductible is (as of the date that this article was written) $30,000. So, that means that if your pain and suffering is valued at $50,000, then, if the deductible applied, the amount would be redued by $30,000, leaving only $20,000. The deductible does not apply to pain and suffering that is assessed at more than $100,000 and there are a number of other exceptions.