0 4 min 11 mths

When dealing with a lawyer in Canada, there’s talk about something called “punitive damages. In Canada, when someone gets hurt, they might get extra money called punitive damages. This money is not for fixing things but for punishing the person who caused the harm and ensuring others don’t do the same. It’s not the usual compensation for the person who got hurt, and it only happens in exceptional cases.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are additional money for someone hurt in an accident. It goes beyond covering the injury costs. It’s about punishing the person responsible for the accident and their wrongdoing.

When Do You Get Punitive Damages?

Only some get these extra damages. They are only given when the person who caused the accident intentionally did something terrible or was careless. Punitive damages are not like regular compensation for injuries. They are meant to punish someone who has acted seriously wrong or harmfully. The main reasons why people might get punitive charges in Canada are:

Malicious Behavior

Punitive damages are often awarded when a person’s behaviour is considered malicious. This means they intentionally did something wrong or harmful. For example, a person might file motorcycle accident claim for reckless driving if they get hit by a driver. 

Oppressive Actions

Suppose someone’s actions are seen as oppressive, like unfairly aggressive. It can also happen when someone takes advantage of someone.

High-Handed Conduct

High-handed conduct occurs when a person behaves without care or consideration for others.

Why Do We Have Punitive Damages?

The main reason is to stop people from doing bad things. By making them pay extra money, the legal system wants to ensure everyone understands that specific actions are wrong.

What Do Courts Look At?

Courts think about a few things before deciding if you should get these extra damages. They check how badly the other person behaved, how much harm you suffered, and if there were similar cases. It’s like they weigh everything to make a fair decision.

Rules About How Much Money

There are rules in Canada about how much extra money you can get. The highest court in Canada, called the Supreme Court, says the amount should match how badly the person acted. It’s like ensuring the punishment fits the crime, so it’s fair.

Who Gets the Extra Money?

Good news – you get the extra money if the court decides it’s fair. But remember, you don’t automatically get it. You must prove that the person who caused the accident deserves this extra punishment.

Different from Regular Money for Injuries

Please don’t mix it up with the regular money you get for your injuries. The extra punitive damages punish the person who did something wrong, while the standard money is for fixing things after an accident.


When people in Canada get hurt, they might get extra money, called punitive damages. It’s not the usual cash for fixing things – it’s more like a punishment for the person who caused the trouble.  Just remember, this extra money isn’t automatic. You have to show the court it’s needed based on what happened. So, when it comes to injuries and getting things sorted in Canada, think of punitive damages as a particular consequence, making sure everyone plays fair.