The Nova Scotia government is poised to scrap a controversial $2,500 cap on damages for minor injuries suffered in highway crashes; a restriction that is unfair to accident victims but insurers insist is keeping premiums affordable.
That province's Office of the Superintendent of Insurance has launched a review of the cap, seeking public input on alternative ways to control damage awards for pain and suffering. A discussion paper accompanying the call for submissions suggests changes to the six-year-old cap could be applied retroactively.
New Democrat Premier Darrell Dexter says the cap — imposed by the former Conservative government in 2003 — is preventing people who have been seriously injured from pursing compensation, and will not survive in its present form.
The definition of a minor injury is so restrictive that 'unless you've got very severe injuries, just about every case is affected by this. The Lawyer's Weekly interviewed Halifax Lawyer Janus Siebrits who said that he has clients who suffered spinal injuries and broken bones that are not considered serious injuries under the cap, which excludes injuries that don't result in 'serious impairment of an important bodily function' beyond the first year after an accident.
The insurance industry has made a tremendous amount of money on the backs of accident victims, and that needs to change.
Alberta has a similar cap of $4000 for so called minor injuries.
Insurance Companies try to justify this by arguing that it keeps premiums down. What it does is provide huge profits for insurance companies at the expense of injured people.