Injured Victim's Constitutional Appeal Fails
Today the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal of a decision that upheld the constitutionality of Nova Scotia's cap of $2500.00 compensation for injured car accident victims deemed to have suffered a "minor injury".
The Applicant MacDonald was involved in a car accident in November, 2003. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck, shoulders and back. Her insurance company claimed that she had suffered a "minor injury" under Nova Scotia's new auto insurance provisions and offered a settlement that included the capped amount of $2,500 for pain and suffering.
The other Applicant Gionet was in a car accident in December, 2003. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her knee and back. She accepted the insurance company's offer of $3,000 to settle her claim for pain and suffering and for loss of wages.
Victims Claimed "Minor Injury" CAP Discriminatory
The plaintiffs applied to challenge the constitutionality of amendments to the N.S. Insurance Act that "capped" damages for "minor" injuries, as defined in the legislation, at $2,500.00. The plaintiff's claimed the law discriminated on the basis of physical disability and sex. They also contended the Regulations promulgated under the Act were ultra vires.
Supreme Court Upheld "Minor Injury" Cap
Justice Walter Goodfellow of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court upheld the legislation.
Court of Appeal Confirmed Trial Decision
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the plaintiff's appeals. They appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Supreme Court of Canada
In a decision released today the S.C.C. ruled:
"The motions for an extension of time to serve and file the first and second applications for leave to appeal are granted. The first application for leave to appeal...is dismissed without costs. The second application for leave to appeal...is dismissed with costs to the respondents Adam Thomas Roy and Attorney General of Nova Scotia."
That's All Folks
The S.C.C. decision marks the end of the line. If you or a family memeber have been injured in a car accident since November 2003 your claim will be determined based on the amendments to the Insurance Act that caps compensation for "pain and suffering" for "minor" injuries at $2500.00.
Recent Changes to Cap
The NDP government introcuced changes to the "minor injury" cap recently. Unfortunately, they did not scrap the cap as many injured victims had hoped. The cap remains in place. There were some improvements made to the cap. But they will not apply retroactively.
Now more than ever it is important for injured accident victims to get advice from an experienced Nova Scotia Car Accident Lawyer.
Which version of the legislation applies to your claim? Is your claim is capped? What evidence do you need to prove that your claim isn't capped? What compensation you are entitled to in addition to the cap? These are all questions that are best answered by an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer.