If you asked personal injury lawyer what are some of the most common issues they face with car accident cases in Ontario; without a doubt the issue of the threshold and the deductible will be very high on their lists. Likely the number 1 issue which personal injury lawyers face for car accident cases in Ontario.
What are the threshold and the deductible?
Good question, because so few people know what they are, or how they work.
Let’s start with the deductible, because that’s the most concrete of the two concepts. The deductible acts as a secret credit which the insurance company doesn’t want you or the general public to know about. For every pain and suffering case involving a car or motor vehicle; the insurance company which acts for the Defendant is entitled to a LARGE CREDIT for pain and suffering award which falls below $138,343.86. The deductible for 2022 sits at $41,503.50. It’s the $41,503.50 elephant in the room for any car accident case. This means that if a Judge and Jury award an injured Plaintiff $50,000; after the $41,503.50 deductible is applied; it leaves the injured Plaintiff with only $8,496.50 in their pocket. This seems unfair. But that’s the law in Ontario.
The at fault driver could have been drunk, ran a stop light, while texting on his/her cell phone. The extent of fault will not matter. The deductible applies nonetheless regardless of fault.
It would appear that Ontario’s system affords the at fault Defendant with a $41,503.50 security blanket for each car accident. And that $41,503.50 security blanket only grows larger with time. The reason for this is that $41,503.50 figure increases each year with inflation. The deductible sat at $39,754.31 in 2021 and grew to $41,503.50 in 2022. Where will it be in 2030? Near $50,000? Near $55,000? It will only go up. I am not aware of any provision in the legislation which permits for deflation of the deductible. Only inflation.