If you are injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another individual, you are entitled to compensation. In Nova Scotia, regulations under the Insurance Act limit (or “cap”) the amount of recovery you are entitled to if your motor vehicle accident related injury is considered “minor”. The cap only applies to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. The legal definition of a minor injury in Nova Scotia encompasses sprains, strains, and certain types of whiplash-associated disorder. It is important to note that the cap only applies to General Damages, also known as Pain and Suffering. Other heads of damages, such as Loss of Income, Cost of Care and Loss of Valuable Services, are not limited by the cap.
The cap regulations were first introduced in 2010 and limited General Damages for minor injuries at a maximum of $7,500. The cap is adjusted annually for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index. The maximum amount for 2017 is set at $8,486. The following table details the cap limits from 2014 to present:
|Effective Periods||Minor Injury Cap Limit|
|January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018||$8,579|
|January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2017||$8,486|
|January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2016||$8,385|
|January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2015||$8,352|
|January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2014||$8,213|
The year applicable to your claim is the year in which you suffered your injuries. For example, if you were injured in a car accident in 2016, the minor injury cap would be $8,385.
Whether or not your injury is classified as minor can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation available to you. Insurance companies will often tell you your claim is capped when actually it may fall outside the cap limits. Therefore, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer with expertise in challenging the insurance company’s interpretation of your injury.
Here at Wagners, we recognize that no injury should be considered minor. Injuries that are classified as ‘minor’ by treatment providers and insurance companies can still have a significant impact your life. Soft tissue injuries can lead to difficulty lifting children, completing household chores, and trouble sleeping. Speak with a personal injury lawyer to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.