In accordance with the Minor Injury Regulation issued under Alberta’s Insurance Act, the maximum amount available for pain and suffering due to minor injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident has been raised 2.4% to $5,202, effective 1 January 2019.
Why Are Minor Injuries Capped in Alberta?
Minor injuries in Alberta are capped as a direct result of protracted lobbying by the insurance industry. In the early 2000’s, wealthy insurers complained that settlements negotiated between themselves and victims suffering injuries due to motor vehicle accidents were “unfair,” and petitioned for the implementation of a no-fault system—a direct attack on the rights of the injured to receive fair compensation.
The Government of Alberta, unwilling to allow insurers to dictate the rights of victims, opted for a compromise: a cap on damages due to minor injury.
Defining ”Minor” Injuries
The Government of Alberta defines a minor injury as any sprain, strain, or “whiplash-associated disorder (WAD)” that does not result in an ongoing “substantial inability to perform essential tasks” (like employment, schooling or daily living) without the likelihood or expectation of improvement.
In short, thanks to broadly written legislation, a minor injury can cover quite a lot—even if the so-called “minor” injury has long-term ramifications for a person’s health, career, or personal life.
A Cap May Not be the Limit
The minor injury cap limits the amount of money that can be awarded directly for pain and suffering—meaning that other costs related to a minor injury (such as transportation to and from medical appointments, non-prescription medical supplies and devices, and other additional services) could be fairly compensated.
Obtaining fair and complete compensation requires proper legal representation. Personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the law, understand the exceptions, and fight on your behalf.
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.