In Nova Scotia, persons who suffer injuries in car accidents may have their compensation for “general damages” – also known as “pain and suffering damages” – limited by the “minor injury cap.” For a detailed description on the minor injury cap, please refer to our previous blog post.
To briefly summarize, the minor injury cap (sometimes referred to in the insurance industry as “the cap”) is set up by Regulations under the Nova Scotia Insurance Act. Nova Scotia law stipulates that the cap applies to injuries that are “minor,” including sprains, strains, and minor whiplash injuries. When these cap regulations were introduced in 2010, the maximum amount a person with “minor” injuries from a car accident could recover for general damages was $7,500. The minor injury cap does not apply to other types of compensation, such as loss of income, out of pocket expenses, loss of housekeeping services, and loss of future earning ability.
Every year since 2010, the minor injury cap amount has increased for “inflation” pursuant to the Consumer Price Index. In January 2018, the government of Nova Scotia released its update for the cap amount for 2018. The amount for 2018 is $8,579, which is up $93 from 2017’s cap amount of $8,486. For reference, the following table depicts how the minor injury cap limit has grown since 2014:
- January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 $8,579
- January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 $8,486
- January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016 $8,385
- January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 $8,352
- January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 $8,213
It is important to note that the current minor injury cap amount would apply only to car accidents taking place in 2018. If the accident was in 2017, the minor injury cap limit would be that established in 2017, as would be the case for previous years.
Insurance companies will often try to argue that a claim is subject to the minor injury cap when in fact it may not be. This is an important and complex legal question that is best assessed by an experienced injury lawyer.
Determining whether the minor injury cap applies to your claim can make a very significant difference in receiving fair compensation after a car accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and may be considering making a claim for injuries, it is always in your best interests to contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation on your rights and options.