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Understanding Calgary Personal Injury Law: Awards

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
July 20, 2015

This is part of a series of articles produced by the legal professionals at Cuming & Gillespie in an effort to help the average resident of the Calgary area better understand Alberta’s personal injury laws and how they might apply to a specific case. For a free, detailed conversation regarding your or your family member’s recent serious injury, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

In a previous article we looked at the term “damages” as it applies to a Calgary personal injury case. Proving damages is one of the foundational elements of a successful personal injury case; the plaintiff must demonstrate that their injuries resulted in significant monetary losses in the form of lost wages, lost productivity, medical expenses, etc., and/or that their injury led to a reduced quality of life or significant pain and suffering worth of monetary compensation. After such damages are demonstrated, the plaintiff must then argue for the specific amount they believe they are owed.

A judge and/or jury of other Calgary-area residents will then weigh arguments made by the plaintiff (or, more often, the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers) and the defendants (or the defendant’s insurance company’s lawyers) in order to determine how much the plaintiff should be paid. The dollar amount determined to be just compensation of the injuries is what is called the award in personal injury cases.

Calgary Courts Limit the Possible Awards

There are limits for personal injury awards that can vary depending on the type of injury and the type of damages. Alberta currently has a limit or “cap” of approximately $360,000 in damages for pain and suffering. There is technically no limit on awards for medical and other expenses incurred as a direct result of an injury, though lost wages and earning capabilities can be more difficult to demonstrate with the clarity that many Calgary triers of fact would prefer. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in setting a realistic target for the award in your personal injury case.

Also, keep in mind that most personal injury cases don’t actually proceed to a trial, and the issue of awards is often moot. Reaching a settlement before going to a trial is often in everyone’s best interests, and leaves the issues of compensation to the plaintiff and the defendants themselves. Again, your personal injury lawyer will help you understand your options and pursue the best strategy for your individual case, including pushing to a trial when necessary.

Talking to a Calgary Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Case

An initial conversation with a Calgary personal injury lawyer won’t be enough to give you a concrete idea of the award you might expect in your case, but it will provide insight and peace of mind as you move forward with your case. For a free consultation with Calgary’s premier personal injury law firm, please contact our office today.

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