What is a “threshold test”?

Authored by: Alfonso Campos Reales

In Ontario, it is not enough for a car accident victim to prove that he or she has been injured by the fault of another to sue for his or her pain and suffering or health care expenses. Victims must also meet a test called the “threshold” to be compensated for these losses.

The threshold test looks at the injuries and impairment suffered by the injured victim with reference to very complicated insurance legislation. The test and legislation state that victims must obtain specific medical evidence about the “permanence” of the impairment, the “seriousness” of the impairment, and about the “importance” of the physical, mental or psychological function affected by the impairment.

As a result of the threshold test and complicated insurance legislation, accident victims are routinely denied access to justice despite being injured, and despite their pain, suffering and health care expenses, where the victim cannot obtain specific medical evidence about the “permanence” or “seriousness” of his or her injuries.


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