Here’s the first thing you need to know…it’s not common to see the kinds of multimillion-dollar settlements in Canada that you see in the United States. That is because Alberta, in particular, has “capped” many personal injury awards. Let’s see how personal injury compensation is calculated.
Here’s the breakdown of what’s capped and not capped.
Capped – Injury Claims
Two components of your injury claim may be capped.
The first is a $5000 claim on certain types of injuries: strains, sprains, and whiplash. These aren’t worth that much because they don’t have huge impacts on your life and usually heal pretty fast with the proper care.
The second component is the pain and suffering cap. This is capped at $300,000 in Alberta.
You might also understand your current medical bills and lost wages to be capped by what those price tags actually are: no more, and no less. For example, if your treatment has left you with $46,000 in medical bills, then that $46,000 won’t go any higher.
Remember, one claim consists of several types of compensation.
Not Capped – Injury Claims
There are certain parts of a personal injury claim that aren’t capped at all. For example, there’s no cap on a person’s lost opportunities or loss of earnings. That will be calculated with a complex formula that covers everything from how much longer you were expected to work to how much might have been taken off the top in taxes.
Loss of future care is another award amount that can’t be capped. The court might try to estimate these expenses, but they are as they are projected to be.
Capped – Wrongful Death Claims
Bereavement claims are capped at $82,000 for a surviving spouse, for $82,000 divided equally between surviving parents, or for $49,000 per child (including adult children).
Yet there is more to a wrongful death claim than bereavement.
Not Capped – Wrongful Death Claims
If bereavement were all there were to it you wouldn’t necessarily need a lawyer. Instead, the ins and outs of the case get complex when you consider other expenses you’re eligible to receive compensation for. These include,
- Expenses incurred for care that took place between the accident and the death, including medical, travel, and accommodation expenses.
- If the deceased was employed, there’s no cap on compensating you for the loss of the deceased’s wages or future income.
- If the deceased provided housekeeping services, there is no cap on compensating you for the loss of these services.
The formulas used to calculate amounts the court finds reasonable involve any number of factors, from the age the deceased was planning to retire to the amount of taxes the deceased may need to have paid.
Get Help Today
I hope, by now you know how personal injury compensation is calculated. Helping you make the most of your uncapped award amounts is part of the work that a personal injury lawyer does on your behalf. In addition, the existence of a cap just means that’s the most you can receive: without help, there’s a good chance you’ll receive less.
To make the most of your claim, call (403) 269-7777 to schedule a consultation today.