Overview

In a civil lawsuit, you can ask for money to make up for damages that were directly caused by the injury that started the case. These are called compensatory damages.

Injury in a civil claim can include:

  • bodily harm
  • property damage
  • damage to your reputation

There are two types of compensatory damages:

  • pecuniary
  • non-pecuniary

Pecuniary damages

Pecuniary damages can be clearly measured by an amount of money. These can be past or future losses and may include:

  • medical bills
  • costs of care
  • loss of earnings
  • property damage

Non-pecuniary damages

Non-pecuniary damages are difficult to measure by money. These can be past or future losses and may include:

  • pain and suffering
  • emotional distress
  • decreased quality of life
  • damage to relationships

Discount rate

If your case is successful, the court can award you money for future pecuniary damages. The Rules of Civil Procedure sets out a discount rate that will be used to calculate how much you receive. This rate represents the difference between price inflation and the interest rate at which you can invest the money awarded.

The table below outlines the discount rate for trials starting on January 1 of each year:

YearRate for the 15-year period that follows the start of the trialRate for any later period covered by the award
20241.00%2.50%
20230.50%2.50%
20220%2.50%
20210%2.50%
20200%2.50%
20190.10%2.50%
20180.10%2.50%
20170%2.50%
20160%2.50%
20150.30%2.50%
20140.30%2.50%
2013-0.50%2.50%
20120%2.50%
20110.50%2.50%
20101.25%2.50%
20090.75%2.50%
20080.75%2.50%
20070.75%2.50%
20061.00%2.50%
20051.50%2.50%
20042.25%2.50%
20032.50%2.50%
20022.50%2.50%
20012.75%2.50%
20003.00%2.50%
 

Gross up rate

Gross up is an additional amount included in the award of money for future pecuniary damages to make up for the income taxes you will owe on the payment. The Rules of Civil Procedure sets out the formula that will be used to calculate the gross up rate.

The table below outlines the gross up rate for trials starting on January 1 of each year:

YearRate for the 15-year period that follows the start of the trialRate for any later period covered by the award
20242.20%0.70%
20232.30%0.40%
20221.80%-0.70%
20211.00%-1.50%
20201.70%-0.80%
20192.20%-0.20%
20182.00%-0.40%
20171.70%-0.70%
20162.10%-0.40%
20152.40%0.20%
20142.30%0.10%
20133.00%0%
20123.25%1.00%
20113.25%1.25%
20102.75%1.25%
20093.25%1.50%
20083.50%1.75%
20073.75%1.75%
20063.50%2.00%
20053.50%2.50%
20043.00%2.75%
20033.00%3.25%
20023.25%3.25%
20013.00%3.50%
20002.25%2.75%