If you suffer minor injuries due to a car accident in Nova Scotia, you have the right to receive compensation for the consequences of those injuries in your daily life. A personal injury claim aims to financially restore you to the position you would be in if the accident never happened.
You will receive remuneration for various aspects, encompassing the distress and agony endured (commonly referred to as general damages), any present and future earnings forfeited and medical expenditures, as well as the impact of the injuries on your capability to fulfill domestic duties (referred to as loss of valuable services).
When it’s time to resolve your claim for injuries sustained in a car accident, the insurance adjuster might categorize your injury as minor. What exactly does this term entail, and is it an accurate assessment?
What is a minor injury?
In terms of injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, the Nova Scotia government has implemented a restriction or Cap on the monetary compensation an individual can receive for pain and suffering. This limit solely applies to injuries classified as minor as per the government’s definition.
Starting from 2010, the pain and suffering/general damages cap has undergone periodic adjustments. The latest one, carried out in 2023, saw the cap amount increase to $10,000. This adjustment was in line with inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index.
The monetary limit for each year is as follows:
In 2010 it was $7,500,
In 2011 it was $7,664,
In 2012 it was $7,956.
In 2013 it was $8,100,
In 2014 it was $8,213,
In 2015 it was $8,352.
In 2016 it was $8,385,
In 2017 it was $8,486,
In 2018 it was $8,579.
In 2019 it was $8,768
In 2020 it was $8,911.
In 2021 it was $8,937
In 2022 it was $9,300.
For all Nova Scotia accidents in 2023, the minor injury cap jumped to $10,000.
There are two fundamental aspects must be understood regarding the Nova Scotia Minor Injury Cap.
- The compensation you receive for pain and suffering after an accident is directly linked to the year it occurred. For instance, if your accident occurred in 2017 and resulted in a minor injury, you would be eligible for a cap amount of $8,486. However, if the accident took place in 2023 and the injury is classified as minor, you could claim up to $10,000.
- The minor injury Cap solely pertains to the compensation for pain and suffering and does not have any effect on your eligibility for other types of damages. It is important to bear in mind that the minor injury Cap is not applicable to injuries sustained in non-vehicular accidents, such as slip and fall incidents.
What exactly constitutes a minor injury?
The Nova Scotia Insurance Act provides the specific criteria for categorizing an injury as minor. An accident-related injury falls under the category of strain, sprain, or Grade 1, as defined by the Act.
In no way should injuries such as concussions, fractures, TMJ injuries affecting the joint or other cartilage, burns, amputations, scarring, disfigurement, or mental health diagnoses resulting from accidents be considered as minor.
Determining whether an injury is considered minor or not relies on the interpretation of the term serious impairment. The regulations outlined in the Insurance Act lay out a definition for serious impairment, which takes into account whether a sprain, strain, or whiplash injury significantly hampers your ability to carry out work, education, or everyday tasks.
If your accident-related harm consists of what is considered a lesser injury combined with a more significant injury (such as a concussion), you are eligible to obtain compensation for the minor injury, along with additional compensation for the concussion injury, both awarded concurrently.
The categorization of an injury as minor can be a complex legal evaluation. Do not assume your injuries are minor just because an adjuster claims so. NOVA Injury Law’s legal team is eager to offer you a complimentary consultation to examine the particulars of your case and give you a comprehensive understanding of the compensation you are entitled to.
Example Settlement for Minor Injury Claims in Nova Scotia
Car Accident Minor Injury Claim Example 1:
In 2020, Josie experienced a grade II whiplash injury as a result of a car accident. Over a span of 7 months, her injury showed significant improvement thanks to consistent physiotherapy and massage treatments. During this time, she was unable to work for 3 weeks, requiring the assistance of babysitters to look after her toddler while she attended her therapy sessions. Although most of her injuries have healed, Josie continues to face certain limitations in household chores, such as no longer being able to mow the lawn or shovel the driveway.
The insurance company has extended a compensation offer of $8,911 for the incurred damages.
Let’s take into consideration that Josie has a minor injury for the purpose of this example. It is important to pay attention to the following points:
- In 2020, Josie experienced an accident that entitles her to a general damage entitlement of $8,911 instead of the outdated value of $7,500 in 2010.
- Along with this, her damages should cover her income loss, both past and future.
- Furthermore, she deserves reimbursement for the expenses she incurred due to hiring babysitters for her treatment sessions.
- Additionally, Suzie should also be compensated for the impairment the injuries caused to her ability to manage household chores.
Fair compensation for Josie’s injury claim will consider all of the impacts, both injury and financial.
Car Accident Minor Injury Claim Example 2:
Max experienced a concussion as a result of a car accident in 2021. Fortunately, through proactive treatment, his concussion was fully resolved within a period of three months, enabling him to return to both his work and activities he loved outside of work day. Now, he has received a compensation offer of $8,937 for the damages incurred by his injury, which is considered to be a minor one.
Max’s concussion falls outside the scope of minor injuries, so his eligibility for general compensations exceeds the capped limit of $8,937 in 2021! This is great news for Max because he can access additional compensation for his injuries.
Minor Injury Claim Example 3:
In the year 2022, Laura was shopping, and a part of a shelf fell on her, causing her to strain her shoulder. Despite undergoing considerable physiotherapy, he persisted in facing ongoing distressing problems with her shoulder and neck. These troubles hindered her from engaging fully in activities such as playing soccer and playing with her kids. It also hurt Laura to do her usual household duties. Laura has received an offer of $9,300 as compensation for the anguish and suffering relatable to her injuries, all under the constraints of the minor injury cap.
Hold on! Laura didn’t get into a car accident. Rather, the injuries were caused by the negligence of the store where she was shopping. In this case, the minor injury cap doesn’t apply even if she has only “minor injuries”.
How An Injury Lawyer Can Help You (Even If Your Claim Is Minor)!
No matter if your injuries were caused by a car accident or some other type of incident, the experienced legal team at NOVA Injury Law is here to help. Contact us today to learn how much your injury claim is worth and how to get a fair result. Call 1.800.262.8104 today to book your Free Case Review! You should always know what your claim is worth before you ever negotiate with the insurance company. In our experience, an experienced injury lawyer can increase the value of a settlement that more than covers the legal fee charged as part of the process. At the end of the day, our team does everything possible to get the best settlement possible for anyone who has been injured in a car accident. Contact us today to make sure you don’t miss out on what you’re owed!