Car Accident Claim Capped 2017?

Nova Scotia has a cap for minor injuries sustained in car accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, your compensation might be capped at a certain amount; however, other damages may not be. Consult a personal injury lawyer to know exactly what you are entitled to.

If you’ve been in a car accident in Halifax, you are entitled to seek damages from the guilty party. One common damage that our clients seek is “pain and suffering”. In Nova Scotia, this claim is capped for “minor injuries”, meaning you cannot seek more than the legally-set amount.

A common issue is that insurance companies will say that your claim is capped and that you cannot seek further damages from them even if it isn’t. That’s why a personal injury lawyer is necessary when dealing with a car accident injury claim. 

Here’s more about the cap and what you need to know if you’ve been the victim of negligence.

The Nova Scotia Minor Injury Cap

Nova Scotia’s minor injury cap was announced at $8,486 for the year 2017, an increase of about $100 from the 2016 figure.

If you are seeking damages for pain and suffering (“non-pecuniary damages” in legalese), then you may not sue for more than this amount solely for your pain and suffering.

Note: This DOES NOT apply to other damages such as medical bills, loss of earning capabilities, and other head damages. 

The number is calculated based on the consumer price index and set in place to streamline cases in the legal system that would otherwise be dragged out in litigation over exactly what constitutes “pain and suffering” damages.

How to Determine if You’ve Sustained a Minor Injury

Minor injuries were spelled out in the Nova Scotia Insurance Act and generally fall into three categories:

- Sprains
- Strains
- Whiplash Associated Disorders (WADs)

So, for example, if a car accident has caused you a sprained wrist, your claim for non-pecuniary damages will be subject to the cap.

Note: There are several grades of WAD. If you’ve suffered a severe WAD, your injury is not subject to the cap.

It’s important to know that if you’ve suffered an injury such as a sprain that resulted in serious impairment or inability (for example, a plumber who suffers a wrist sprain will now have serious impairment in performing his/her duties), your pain and suffering damages ARE NOT capped.

As you can see, the minor injury cap of $8,486 is difficult to fully ascertain. Each injury claim is full of nuance, and you could very well be entitled to more compensation even if your injury falls under the “minor injury” spectrum as laid out by law.

It’s important to always consult with a car accident lawyer in Nova Scotia to evaluate your case. Remember that other damages are not capped and this figure is solely for pain and suffering damages.

If you’d like to know exactly how much your auto accident claim is worth, contact MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law for FREE consultation. You will pay no fees until we actually win your case.

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