In Nova Scotia, injured victims of car accidents may have their level of compensation of limited to a “cap” set by legislation imposed by government. This limit only applies to general damages (otherwise known as pain and suffering). Remember the “cap” does not apply to other heads of damages, such as loss of income, cost of care expenses, loss of valuable services (housekeeping capacity), loss of earning capacity, and so on. There is no limit to the amount of income loss, cost of care, etc which an injured person is entitled to receive in Nova Scotia. Also understand that the “cap” only applies to injuries sustained in a car accident and not for harms resulting from other types of conduct.
As our car accident lawyers have previously explained in a blog post, the “cap” also only applies for “minor injuries”. These are described under provincial legislation as sprains, strains, and certain whiplash associated disorders (which do not result in a substantial impairment). For more detailed information on the minor injury cap, see our previous blog post.
In 2010, regulations were introduced under the Insurance Act of Nova Scotia stipulating that $7,500 was the maximum amount individuals involved in a car accident who sustained a “minor injury” could recover for pain and suffering (“general damages”). This is commonly known as the “minor injury cap.”
Each year since these regulations were instituted, the maximum amount has been adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This has resulted in a slight increase in the “cap” amount since 2010.
The Superintendent of Insurance for the province of Nova Scotia has recently announced the cap for 2017 is set at $8,486, up from $8,385 in 2016 (calculated at a rate of 1.2% for the most recent increase, pursuant to the CPI).
It is important to know that there are many circumstances where an insurance company will say your claim is “capped” where it arguably is not. Determining whether an injury claim is subject to the minor injury cap can be a complex and nuanced legal analysis. When advancing an injury claim, it is crucial for a claimant to understand the particulars of how the cap may or may not apply, as well as the full entitlement of the cap as adjusted for inflation.
If you have questions about the minor injury cap, our experienced car accident lawyers are happy to provide a free consultation to fully explain your rights. Contact an injury lawyer at Valent Legal today at 902 443-4488.