Alberta’s Latest Rules Regarding The Minor Injury Cap

Alberta has placed a limit on the amount of money that can be awarded to some of the adults that have filed a personal injury claim, after being harmed during a motor vehicle accident. That limit applies to soft tissue injuries.

Those are viewed as minor injuries.

As a rule, damage to a soft tissue does not result in a long-term and permanent change to the affected area of the body. It does not create the sort of physical problem that proves to be a problem at work, or during periods of leisure, or pursuit of other activities.

Any injury that creates a long-term or permanent change to the affected area of the body gets classed as a major injury. That would include any burn or any damage to the skin that resulted in formation of scar tissue.

How frequently does a motor vehicle accident aid creation of a soft tissue injury?

Soft tissue/minor injuries represent one of the chief complaints shared by an accident victim, one that has filed a personal injury claim. A driver or passenger could easily hit a section of a joint against some portion of a vehicle’s interior. A joint contains ligaments and tendons. The ligaments are attached to one of the bones in the body; each tendon is attached to a specific muscle.

Why are drivers and passengers prone to hitting some section of a car’s interior with a hand, an arm or a leg? Because those limbs are not held-in by a seat belt, and can get thrown around at the time of a collision.

At what point does a damage award in Alberta get capped?

It used to be capped at $4,000; now it is capped at $5,202.

Does that cap apply to the money awarded for all types of damage?

No, it only applies to non-pecuniary, general damages. Hence, the cap only affects the size of awards for pain and suffering. There is no limit placed on the amount of money that an accident victim can receive as compensation for loss of wages, or as reimbursement of medical expenses.

By the same token, Alberta has placed no limit on the amount of money that can be awarded to an accident victim that must pay for child care, housekeeping services or home maintenance services. If a plaintiff’s lawyer gets the court to award a generous amount of money for housekeeping expenses, then that large award can make-up for the cap on the amounted granted for pain and suffering.

Still, it can prove a challenge, if an injury lawyer in Leduc must argue that a client needs more for an item such as housekeeping expenses. That fact highlights the reason that Alberta’s lawyers dislike the cap.