Recovering Damages for Mental Distress, Aggravated Damages and Punitive Damages a Rare Occurrence in Canada

Recovering Damages for Mental Distress, Aggravated Damages and Punitive Damages a Rare Occurrence in Canada

If your claim has taken a long time to reach settlement, you are probably experiencing frustration, anger, and a host of many other emotions. You might be wondering if you can recover monetary compensation for this stress in the form of pain and suffering or other types of damages. Canadian law, as it relates to aggravated, consequential, and punitive damages, is still very much in its infancy. The reality is that in the vast majority of cases seeking such types of damages, those claims are dismissed. On rare occasions, a very modest amount is awarded.

To sue for punitive damages is to seek a penalty that an insurance company must pay under court order when the insurance company has acted with blatant disregard for the validity of a claim. Awards for punitive damages are meant to send a very clear message to the insurance company to alter its ways. Still, the Supreme Court of Canada has only made awards for punitive and other extra-contractual damages in a few cases. Claims for mental distress or aggravated damages can also be made when the courts will consider whether a claimant has been forced to cash in RRSPs or to sell their home. Insurance companies almost never agree to compensate for such damages in a negotiated settlement. They generally fight these types of claims relentlessly, and the whole process can be exhausting for claimants.

The courts are often reluctant to make such award damages unless the evidence is glaring and offends the sensibilities of most people. They will not award punitive damages when they believe that the actions of the insurance company are consistent with generally accepted business practices regarding insurance claims. Therefore, an extensive examination of the procedures and practices of the insurance company is necessary to pursue claims for punitive damages.

In any case, an experienced lawyer can guide you through this process so you understand what you should expect and your chances of recovering bad faith damages at trial. Share Lawyers are always standing by to answer any of your disability law questions!

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case.

We have recently settled cases against Industrial Alliance, RBC Insurance, Assumption Life, Cigna, and Desjardins.

Find out if you have a Disability Case.