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Minor Injury CAP in Nova Scotia

Posted by Daniel Roper on 25 August 2014

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Since 2003, the Government of Nova Scotia has placed a limit (the "CAP") on the amount of general damages, also known as non-monetary losses, that can be recovered for minor injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. When adjusted for inflation, the amount for 2014 is $8,213.

The most recent incarnation of the CAP applies to all injuries sustained on or after April 28, 2010. The Insurance Act of Nova Scotia defines a minor injury as either a sprain, strain or whiplash-associated disorder injury that does not result in a serious impairment. The injury must have been caused by the motor vehicle accident.

The determination as to whether an injury is a minor injury is twofold. First, it must be determined whether the injury is a sprain, strain or whiplash-disorder injury and, second, whether said minor injury results in a serious impairment.

The Automobile Accident Minor Injury Regulations, made under the Insurance Act, define "sprain", "strain" and "whiplash-associated disorder injury". The regulations also define "serious impairment", which considers the extent to which the injury impairs the victim and also requires that the impairment be ongoing since the accident and also not expected to improve substantially.

Injuries are to be assessed separately. The regulations outline where it is appropriate to "stack" damage awards for non-minor and minor injuries. Stacking means that the amounts recoverable for each injury are added together. This is permitted only where an individual suffers both non-minor and minor injuries and the amount of the non-minor injuries, when assessed separately from the minor injuries, is greater than the minor injury amount.

The CAP does not affect claims relating to loss of past or future income, diminution or loss or earning capacity or past or future expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you consult with a lawyer to help better understand your legal position and the options available to you.