In Alberta, a person can receive a set amount of compensation when filing a claim for minor injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, caused in a vehicle accident. The compensation amounts are usually capped. However, there have been recent changes to the Minor Injury Regulation where you may be able to receive a higher amount.
Minor Injury Regulation Alberta Car Insurance
In October 1st, 2004, the Minor Injury Regulation law came into effect. This law involves the government limiting the amount of compensation that a victim can receive for their compensation claim for non-pecuniary damages due to minor injuries. The limit was set at $4,000 in 2004.
While this cap stayed the same amount from 2004 to 2006, the government decided to raise the cap amount each year. This rate increase is to keep in pace with current inflation. In 2018, the cap limit was set at $5,080.
Amendment to Rate Cap
The 2019 rate cape was changed from $5,080 to $5,202. There was an increase of 2.4% for the year. So any car accidents that occurred on January 1st and throughout the year could receive this full compensation amount from the insurance company.
There was also another amendment that occurred in late 2018 that changed the types of injuries that fall under the Minor Injury Regulations. In the past, judges would refuse any compensation claim that dealt with injuries that occurred around the temporomandibular joint derangement (TMJ) disc or whiplash associated disorders (WAD). A new amendment was added that took effect in June 2018 to address these issues.
The TMJ and WAD injuries will now be considered minor injuries under the minor injury regulation, with only two exceptions. Any damage to the teeth, displacement or damage to the articular disc, or damage to the bone will not fall under the regulations. In addition, psychological and physical symptoms caused from a sprain, strain or WAD will also be considered a minor injury if the issues are expected to resolve. If the symptoms do not resolve, then they will be considered as serious impairments and be a part of the serious impairments section of the regulations.
What These Regulations Mean to You
If you are involved in a car accident in 2019 and receive a minor injury, a TMJ injury or a WAD injury (as well as physical or psychological symptoms from sprains or strains), you are entitled to compensation from the car insurance companies. You may be able to claim up to the stated non-pecuniary damages cap in the Minor Injury Regulation Alberta. If the insurance company does not provide you with compensation up to the cap, then you can refuse the compensation amount.
You may be able to file an appeal for the denied claim. A person can also negotiate to receive the full maximum amount. You will have to prove that your injuries fall under the Minor Injury Regulation and deserve compensation.
Contact Diamond & Diamond AB
Here at Diamond & Diamond AB, we work with people who have sustained personal injuries due to car accidents when they are not at fault. We help people to receive the full compensation amount that is required by law. To further understand your rights, and whether you can get compensation for your minor injuries, contact our law office today for a consultation.
What is the difference between a minor injury and a major injury under Alberta law?
Under Alberta law, the main difference between a minor and a major injury is the amount you can claim. For minor injuries, it is capped. For 2020, it was $5,296, but it goes up slightly every year. At Diamond & Diamond, we can tell you which category your injury falls into and assist you in obtaining the right level of compensation.
What are soft tissue injuries?
Soft tissue injuries are those that affect the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Those parts of the body are all prone to sprains, tears, and contusions. All of which can happen when people are involved in accidents. They can be hard to treat and take time to heal. Soft tissue injuries are debilitating. If you suffer this kind of injury, you need to be sure to seek the right level of compensation, with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
What is the Minor Injury Regulation law?
The Minor Injury Regulation was introduced in Canada, in 2004. It defines which injuries are considered minor and caps how much claimants are paid for that type of injury. The maximum amount that can be paid is raised a little each year and periodically the law is updated. For example, in 2018 whiplash injuries were added to the list of minor injuries that could be compensated for.
Does a concussion constitute a minor injury?
Yes, a concussion is often referred to by doctors as a “mild TBI.” Both terms are used when a person experiences a change in normal brain function for no longer than a few minutes following trauma.
What are the most common causes of minor injuries?
Common causes of minor injury include acts of violence by others, bicycle or motor vehicle accidents, bite or sting, repetitive motion injuries, and sports or athletic injuries.
What happens if you leave a sprain untreated?
A sprained ankle can turn into a serious chronic instability if left untreated. When you leave torn ligaments to heal on their own, they can fuse together haphazardly and form weak, inflexible scar tissue. Your range of motion can suffer tremendously, resulting in difficulty in walking for the long term.