Why the Insurance Company Says you have a “Minor Injury”: Reason #1
Nova Scotia Government Passes Law to Protect Insurance Company Profits
In 2003 Nova Scotia passed the Automobile Insurance Reform Act (AIRA) to protect the profits of the insurance industry at the expense of innocent accident victims.
“Minor Injury” Cap on Compensation
AIRA limits (or caps) the amount of damages that an accident victim can receive for non-pecuniary damages , what is typically referred to as compensation for pain and suffering, for “minor injuries” to a maximum of $2500.00!
In other words, if you have a minor injury, as defined by the AIRA law, the most compensation you can receive for your pain and suffering is $2500.00.
There are many reasons why the insurance company may claim that you have a minor injury.
Reason # 1
Your injury isn’t “permanent”
The AIRA law defines a minor injury as every injury that does NOT result in a:
…permanent serious impairment of an important bodily function…
So the first reason the insurance company may say that you have a “minor injury” is because your injury isn’t permanent.
That covers a lot of injuries. Think about it: bruises go away, torn muscles repair themselves, broken bones heal. There are few injuries that last forever.
Does Permanent Mean Forever?
In some cases (amputations) it may be obvious that the injury will last forever. But for most injuries the only way to know for sure that your injury is/was permanent is to wait until you die. If you still had the injury when you died, then the injury was truly permanent.
So does that mean you have to wait until you die before you can prove your injury is permanent?
Fortunately that isn’t the case.
Various court decisions have considered what the definition of the word permanent means when it comes to personal injury claims.
A victims injuries will be considered to be permanent where there is a “substantial possibility” that the injury will continue into the future: Skinner v. Goulet.
“Permanent” means lasting into the indefinite future without any end limit: Bos v. James
How Do I Prove My Injury Is Permanent?
So the first thing you have to do to prove that you do NOT have a minor injury if provide proof that your injury is “permanent”. How do you do that? By having your doctor carefully document the nature and extent of your injuries so that he or she can write a report confirming that there is a “substantial possibility” that your injury will continue into the “indefinite future” without any certain end limit.
There are a number of other reasons that the insurance company may say you have a minor injury, and claim that your compensation should be capped at a maximum of $2500.00. I will cover them all in future posts.
I have been representing victims of serious personal injuries for 18 years. I wrote The Consumers Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia to help victims of car accidents in Nova Scotia get fair compensation for their injuries. You can get a free copy of the book by contacting me through this blog, visiting my website at www.apmlawyers.com or by calling me toll free at 1-877-891-1664.