By: Phil Moreira
In Nova Scotia, people 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 quickly summarize, the minor injury cap in Nova Scotia (sometimes referred to in the insurance industry as “the cap”) is set up by Regulations under the Nova Scotia Insurance Act. Nova Scotia law says 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.
Damages for “Pain and Suffering”
The minor injury cap in Nova Scotia 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.
Increases in the Minor Injury Cap
Every year since 2010, the minor injury cap amount has increased for “inflation” pursuant to the Consumer Price Index. In January 2020, the government of Nova Scotia released its update for the minor injury cap amount for 2020. The amount for 2020 is $8,911, which is up $143 from 2019’s minor injury cap amount of $8,768.
The current minor injury cap amount would apply only to car accidents taking place in 2020. If the car accident was in 2019, the minor injury cap limit would be that established in 2019, as would be the case for previous years.
Does the Minor Injury Cap Apply to my Claim?
Insurance companies in Nova Scotia 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. You should strongly 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 major 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.