It's difficult to estimate what a case is worth. There are many variables and it's impossible to provide an exact figure but it's helpful to consider ballpark numbers (especially for settlement offers). The calculator below gives an idea of what a small claims court case could cost and what a plaintiff could get out of it (expected value).

Warning: this calculator makes a lot of assumptions and is a simplified model that overstates the odds of success (for a few reasons, such as judges not awarding the full amount claimed, non-payment by defendants [a $0 "win"], etc.). It does not include HST.

Small Claims Court Calculator

x = Expect $7500

x = $2000

Upfront costs: $

Expect to recover4 75% of 15%2 of your legal costs ($2000): $225.

Expect to recover 75% of your disbursements: $206.253

Expected amount you'll get by going to court: $6

Warning: please don't rely on this to make a decision about going to small claims court. Many lawyers in Ontario (like me) offer free consultations during which they'll listen to your facts and tell you what your options are. Assumption-loaded calculators are not a substitute for professional judgement!

1. Litigation is never a sure thing! Even an experienced small claims practitioner won't be able to provide an exact probability of success.

2. You can recover approximately 15% of your costs if you win (

3. This assumes that you can recover all of your disbursements.

4. If you lose, this calculator assumes you'll pay 15% of the other side's costs and that they're the same as yours (although it's up to $500 if self-represented).

5. Example disbursements: the plaintiff's claim fee is $75, request for trial date is $100. This calculator assumes another $100 in fees (e.g. notice of garnishment required). Ontario government fee guide: click here.

6. This assumes that you recover the full amount of your claim. You may also have to pay the other side's counter-claimed amount. Obviously, this calculator does not include what your time is worth (or the associated stress).

Feedback? Email the creator: