Injured in an Ottawa accident and need to claim damages including past and future care costs?

When you have a personal injury claim, you ask for an amount of money to compensate for the injuries that you sustained because of your accident. This amount of money is otherwise referred to as “damages.” It is the total sum of many different categories of compensation. It is important to know a little bit about the calculation of your damages because it will help you understand your claim and it will help you understand what your lawyer is negotiating at mediation and throughout your Ottawa injury file.

As discussed in a previous blog, there is a difference between special damages and general damages. Special damages are the losses that can be calculated (e.g. a past loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.) whereas general damages are losses that are less easy to quantify (e.g. pain and suffering, future loss of income, etc.). Future Care Costs are classified within General damages; we do not have receipts for these, because they have not been paid out yet, so the best we can do is guess what these amounts will be. Therefore, evaluation of Future Care Costs is done by specialized medical professionals and presented as a report at mediation or at trial.

What services could fall under Future Care Costs?

All medical services and devices that will be needed by the plaintiff in the future will be considered, as long as they are “reasonable and based on medical evidence” according to the authority on damages Andrews v Grand & Toy Alberta Ltd., [1978] 2 SCR 229, 1978 CanLII 1 (SCC).

Is there a limit on Future Care Costs?

No, there is no cap on Future Care Costs. The emphasis is on the accident victim’s medical needs, not on the defendant’s capacity to pay. An Ontario Court of Appeal decision allowed $13.9 million dollars in Future Care Costs to a plaintiff who suffered significant head injury at 20 years old (Marcoccia v Ford Credit Canada Ltd., 2009 ONCA 317.) This, however, is on the extreme end of Future Care Costs awards. Most awards for Future Care Costs are significantly lower.

When can you claim Future Care Costs?

When a plaintiff is expected to need significant future medical costs and adaptive devices. Future Care Costs reports – prepared by an expert – are expensive, and the plaintiff will have to pay for it in the end when he settles as disbursements. It would consequently only make sense to order a Future Care Costs report if the total claim warrants such an investment.

Future Care Costs are a head of damages that can help a plaintiff ensure compensation for the many medical services and adaptive devices that he will need in the future.

Our Ottawa personal injury and accident lawyers are specifically trained to ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone you care about was injured in an accident, please contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation. We work on a no-fee-until-you-win basis. Call us at 613-315-4878.