Car Accident Injury Claims Capped

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 injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek damages from the guilty party. One common type of damages that our clients seek is “pain and suffering”. In Nova Scotia if you suffer only minor injures, then there is a limit to the amount of damages that you can seek. In other words, the amount of damages is “capped”.

Insurance companies will sometimes try to convince injury victims that their claim is capped, when there are reasonable grounds to conclude that it is not. This is one way that personal injury lawyers play an important role in securing fair compensation for their clients, by standing up against insurance giants who often have the upper hand.

The Nova Scotia Minor Injury Cap

The Nova Scotia minor injury cap only applies to damages for pain and suffering (called “non-pecuniary damages”). It does not apply to other types of damages that you can claim for, such as medical bills and loss of earning capabilities. 

Nova Scotia’s minor injury cap was set at $8,486 in 2017. This was an increase of approximately $100 from the 2016 figure.

The cap figure is calculated based on the consumer price index and was established to streamline minor cases in the legal system that would otherwise be dragged out in litigation trying to determine what exactly constitutes “pain and suffering” damages.

WHAt is a ‘Minor Injury’?

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

- Sprains
- Strains
- Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD)

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


However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Even if an injury is classified as a “minor injury”, it’s possible that the cap may not apply.

For example, there are several grades of whiplash associated disorders (WAD). If you’ve suffered a severe WAD, your injury is not subject to the cap.

Also, if you’ve suffered a minor 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), then your pain and suffering damages are not capped.


In law, things are rarely black and white, and the cap falls in this grey area. It is our job to assess the individual facts of your case and ensure that you secure fair compensation for your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in an accident and would like to learn your options, contact us today to book a free consultation.

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