Case Commentary – Where the Statutory Threshold is Not Met

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  • In a recent case arising from a motor vehicle accident, the court found that the plaintiff failed to meet the statutory threshold required for an award of general damages.

    The statutory threshold for motor vehicle accident claims

    As we have discussed in an earlier post, the Insurance Act in Ontario places limits general damages awards for injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents. In order to recover damages for their injuries, a victim must first be found by the court to have suffered a permanent and serious impairment of an important physical mental or psychological function.

    The court will consider each case based on the plaintiff’s pre-accident employment and activities of daily life, in order to determine whether the threshold is met.

    Nadarajah v. Aviva Canada Inc.

    The plaintiff in this case suffered soft tissue injuries in a motor vehicle accident. He also suffered two subsequent workplace injuries. After a two-week trial, the jury determined the motor vehicle accident had caused a minor soft-tissue injury to his shoulder, and valued his claim at $15,000 in general damages.

    The court then had to consider whether the plaintiff had met the required threshold to be awarded general damages. Although the judge accepted evidence that the plaintiff had suffered a permanent soft tissue injury that would likely continue to cause him pain, the injury was not sufficiently serious to meet the threshold requirements. The plaintiff did not adduce sufficient evidence to satisfy the court that the injury impaired any important function in either his employment or daily life.  Accordingly, the plaintiff did not meet the threshold required and his general damages claim was dismissed.

    Experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers in Toronto

    This case illustrates the importance of having the right evidence to prove your claim. At Jasmine Daya & Co., we have over four decades of experience representing the victims of motor vehicle accidents, and know how to present evidence to create persuasive arguments on behalf of our clients.

    We give free consultations for all new clients. To discuss a potential motor vehicle accident claim, or any other personal injury matter with one of our lawyers, contact us online, or by calling 416-967-9100.