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Do your Injuries/Impairment meet “the threshold”? How can you be sure?

June 26, 2019 / Category: Motor Vehicle Accidents

What is “the threshold”? The threshold is a medical/legal test that the court uses to determine whether or not victims of a motor vehicle collision should be allowed to recover compensation for pain and suffering as a result of their impairments arising from a motor vehicle collision.

There are three main ways that the threshold test looks at injuries/impairments suffered by a victim of a motor vehicle collision:

  1. The review of medical evidence, treatment and what witnesses have to say about your medical condition must satisfy a judge that your injuries/impairment is permanent;
  2. A judge will consider the effect of your injuries/impairment on your life, including your hobbies, work and family. The judge must be satisfied with the level of seriousness your injuries/impairment have on your day to day activities, such as work, family, social and recreational pursuits; and
  3. Your injuries/impairment must be to an important physical, mental, and/or psychological function.
  4. Any award for pain and suffering will be reduced by a statutory deductible which is currently approximately $39,000.00. This means that if the court were to award you the sum of $70,000.00 for your pain and suffering, the court will reduce the award by the statutory deductible. ($70,000.00 – $31,000.00) Therefore, you would receive the sum of $31,000.00 for your award of pain and suffering.
  5. One of the purposes of the statutory deductible is the limit the right of accident victims to seek compensation for their injuries.

It is important to note, that even in cases decided by a jury, where you are awarded money for pain and suffering, a judge may override the jury’s decision if they determine that you fail to meet the criteria of the threshold test.

Caselaw examples of the threshold test in action:

  • In Mamado v. Fridson, 2016 ONSC 4080, the plaintiff was found to be credible. After her accident, she was unable to return to work or her studies. The Pplaintiff’s impairments were related to chronic pain. The judge considered the plaintiff to have met the threshold and she was eligible compensation for her pain and suffering.
  • In Perez v. Pinto, 2013 ONSC 1243, the plaintiff was considered not credible or trustworthy and was proven to be “exaggerating her symptoms.” When the jury awarded $2,500 in general damages, the judge determined that this plaintiff did not meet the threshold test and overturned the awarded compensation.
  • In Antinozzi v. Andrews, 2011 ONSC 3296, another plaintiff that was found to be credible, was forced to change her living arrangements because of difficulty with walking up and down stairs. Prior to the accident she had a solid employment record, and had not returned to work since. The plaintiff was eligible for recovery because the judge was satisfied that the threshold test was met for her injuries and/or impairments.

People who have been injured in a motor vehicle collision often experience numerous barriers in obtaining fair compensation, this threshold test is only one of them. Call us today and get your life back on track! Call 905-777-0070 and speak to one of our qualified legal support team members to book your free initial consultation.

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