Types of Damages

Damages are categorized into “pecuniary damages” and “non-pecuniary damages.”

“Pecuniary damages” or “special damages” refer to awards of money that a court makes to compensate the plaintiffs for economic losses sustained because of the wrong committed by another. These damages can also be awarded to enable you to pay for things that you would have had done if you weren’t in the accident, like housekeeping for example.

“Non-pecuniary” or “general damages” are awarded for non-economic losses like pain and suffering. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada capped awards of for pain and suffering at $100,000. The upper limit is usually only available for the most catastrophic injuries. This amount was indexed to inflation so that today, the amount is approximately $330,000.

If you think that the at-fault driver who caused your injuries acted negligently and you decide to sue, you can be compensated for the following:

  • General or non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering;
  • Past and future income loss;
  • Future medical and rehabilitation expenses;
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance expenses; and
  • Special damages for out-of-pockets expenses incurred as a result of the accident and impairment.

Courts will take a number of factors into consideration when awarding damages. These factors include, among others:

  • Your age and the specific injury sustained. Inquiries will be made regarding the severity of your injury, chances for recovery
  • How long it will take to recover and the required medical treatment
  • Whether you had any injuries before the accident or medical problems that might add to your injuries is also important.
  • Your employment if you are unable to work as a result of the accident
  • How much money you are reasonably expected to lose (or spend) as a result of being unable to work because of the accident