Many Positive Changes in Nova Scotia’s Cap on “Minor Injuries”

Like several provinces, Nova Scotia has a cap on the compensation victims of motor vehicle accidents can receive for their injuries. From 2003 to 2010, under the control of a Conservative government, victims of auto accidents who fell under the legislated definition of a “minor injury” had a $2500 cap imposed on their damages.

The Conservative government defined “minor injury” in a manner that was all-encompassing. Most accident victims, regardless of the extent of their pain, suffering and injury, fell under the definition of “minor injury”.

Fortunately, on April 28, 2010, the current Government introduced changes to Nova Scotia’s minor injury cap. The amount of the cap was tripled to $7500.

The most significant improvements to the legislation are those made to the definition of “minor injury”. While the previous definition of “minor injury” included many serious and long-term injuries; now only sprains, strains and whiplash-type injuries are considered “minor”. Only these types of injuries are subject to the damage award cap of $7,500. The former definition eliminated or capped fair compensation for many accident victims. The new legislation expands the rights of accident victims to pursue claims to recover damages for their injuries.

As a result of this change to the law, now most victims of car accidents fall outside of the cap and will receive fair compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering that may result from the motor vehicle accident.

Another positive change in the law is that the amount of the cap is indexed annually to reflect inflation. For example, in 2011, the few who are captured by the definition of “minor injury” are entitled to $7,665 for pain and suffering. The entitlement will continue to rise with inflation.

Despite the substantial changes to the legislation, insurance companies will surely continue to suggest to victims that they are caught by the definition of “minor injury” and are therefore only entitled to a “capped” compensation.

The lawyers at Wagners know better! We understand the legislation and our experienced lawyers understand how to approach appropriate claims in a manner that ensures it is found to be over the “cap”.

Contact us at Wagners to assist you in understanding your rights under the new laws in Nova Scotia.

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