In Nova Scotia, persons who suffer injuries in car accidents may have their compensation for “general damages” – also known as “pain and suffering” – limited by the “minor injury cap.” For a detailed description on the minor injury cap, please refer to our previous blog post.
The Minor Injury Cap
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. The cap regulations for car accidents have been in place since 2010. At that time, the maximum amount a person with “minor” injuries could recover for general damages was $7,500. The minor injury cap only applies to car accidents and not other types of accidents such as slip and falls. It also only applies to pain and suffering and does not apply to other types of compensation. This includes 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 2019, the government of Nova Scotia released its update for the cap amount for 2019. The amount for 2019 is $8,768, which is up $189 from 2018’s cap amount of $8,579.
For reference, the following table depicts how the minor injury cap limit has grown (January 1 – December 31) since 2014:
- 2019: $8,768
- 2018: $8,579
- 2017: $8,486
- 2016: $8,385
- 2015: $8,352
- 2014: $8,213
The current minor injury cap amount would apply only to car accidents taking place in 2019. If the accident was in 2018, the minor injury cap limit would be that established in 2018, as would be the case for previous years.
Insurance companies will often try to argue that an injury claim from a car accident is subject to the minor injury cap when in fact it may not be. Consider contacting an experienced injury lawyer to help with this important and complex legal question.
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 in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and may be considering making a claim for personal injuries, it is always in your best interests to contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation on your rights and options.