If you have suffered a physical, emotional, or psychological injury due to another person’s negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation. This type of lawsuit is brought against the at-fault person or party and seeks financial compensation, legally referred to as “damages,” for the incurred injury. Damages recovered in personal injury cases may include reparations for pain and suffering or compensation for the future cost of medical care.
For more than 30 years, our experienced personal injury lawyers at Chadi and Company have helped injury and accident victims and families in Edmonton and across Alberta get the justice and fair compensation they deserve. Our skilled lawyers review each case carefully, assess fault, and calculate damages to get the maximum possible compensation for you—supporting you every step of the way.
What are personal injury damages?
Personal injury damages refer to the compensation sought by the injured party (the plaintiff) from the at-fault party (the defendant). They are compensatory in nature, not punitive, and attempt to restore the plaintiff to a position that they would have been in had the injury not taken place.
Compensatory damages are divided into two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded by the court for non-quantifiable losses that the plaintiff incurs because of the negligent, reckless, or careless actions of the defendant. On the other hand, special damages seek to remedy the plaintiff’s quantifiable losses by reimbursing them for out-of-pocket expenses that arise because of the injury.
Examples of common personal injury damages
The most common types of general or special damages you can claim for in Edmonton and across Alberta are the following:
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is legally defined as the mental and physical distress that a person suffers due to an injury. This may include depression and anxiety, reduced physical capacity and inability to perform daily tasks, weakness and exhaustion, and psychological or emotional distress. In these cases, damages seek to compensate the person for this type of suffering.
- Cost of medical care: Current and future medical bills, prescription costs, and rehabilitation.
- Loss of income: Compensation for a person’s ability to earn income, including lost wages.
- Loss of property: If any property or belongings were destroyed or damaged because of the accident that led to the injury, special damages could be awarded to compensate for these losses.
- Housekeeping and home maintenance costs: If a person’s injuries prevent them from cleaning and maintaining their home, compensatory damages can be sought in personal injury cases. In the event that the person needs to pay for these services going forward, future costs can be covered as well.
How are personal injury damages assessed?
Damages are calculated based on the value of the losses incurred through the breach of duty or the violation of a right. In personal injury damages assessments, the law requires that damages be “fair and reasonable,” but their size depends on the nature of the wrongdoing, the kind of injury sustained, and the type of loss that the injury has led to. In all cases, the damages claimed in a personal injury case must be linked to the accident or incident that caused the injury.
Special damages, which refer to the damages sought when wrongdoing results in financial loss, are easily quantified. In such cases, the out-of-pocket damages incurred, such as lost income or medical costs, are proven and calculated by examining, for example, the following:
- Receipts for pharmaceutical products
- Medical reports and evidence of treatments
- Valuations for property or belongings
- Tax records
- Employment documents
You must save all paperwork from proving the number of special damages that you have suffered as a result of the injury. If your injury requires continuous medical care or another kind of future care cost, an expert in the medical field will assist with the financial valuation.
Non-quantifiable, general damages such as pain and suffering or lost enjoyment of life are harder to define and, therefore, harder to calculate. In order to determine the appropriate amount of general damages to award an injured party, the court considers several factors related to the injury, including:
- The nature and severity of the injury
- The plaintiff’s age and general health prior to the accident or incident that caused the injury
- The nature, severity, and duration of the pain
- Whether the incident or accident caused impairment of physical and/or mental abilities, and the severity of this impairment.
The amount of pain and suffering an injury has caused can be demonstrated by evaluations from doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals. Testimony from the plaintiff, their friends, family, and co-workers, as well as other supporting documents, such as police reports or ambulance accounts, that can attest to their suffering, may also be used as evidence.
The court also draws on previous case law with similar facts and injuries to help assess damages, but ultimately the amount awarded to a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit varies from case to case.
However, it is important to note that general damages are capped at a certain dollar amount. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case Andrews v. Grand & Toy Ltd. that the maximum amount of general damages that may be awarded to a plaintiff for injuries in a civil action is $100000, which is approximately $375000 when adjusted for inflation.
Contact our knowledgeable and trusted lawyers at Chadi and Company today
At Chadi and Company, we have over 30 years of experience successfully representing personal injury victims in Edmonton and the surrounding areas and across Alberta. If you have been injured in an accident or due to the reckless or careless actions of someone else, we can help. Our skilled personal injury lawyers are devoted to our clients and committed to fighting for the fair and full compensation they deserve. To learn more about our legal services and how we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve, call us at (780) 429-2300 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation.