Nova Scotia Personal Injury Claims: “Minor Injury” Compensation Cap Constitutional

by John McKiggan

Nova Scotia Limits Compensation For Injured Car Accident Victims

As I have explained in previous posts, Nova Scotia has legislation that places caps on the amount of compensation that persons injured in car accidents are entitled to receive for their injuries.

“Minor Injury” Cap Constitutional

The Nova Scotia Coalition Against No Fault Insurance filed a court challenge seeking to have the “minor injury” cap declared unconstitutional. On Tuesday, Justice Walter Goodfellow of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court based his decision in Hartling v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General). Justice Goodfellow decided that the legislation is constitutional and does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights by discriminating against accident victims.

A more detailed review of Justice Goodfellow’s decision will follow in a later post.

Limiting Compensation Okay in N.S.

Justice Goodfellow has decided that Nova Scotia’s cap legislation that caps compensation for innocent victims who have suffered injuries in a car accident is constitutional.

Injured Person’s Protected in Alberta

However, in Alberta, similar legislation which placed a cap on the compensation that injured victims received for “minor injuries”, was ruled unconstitutional in a decision released in February 2008.

Needless to say, the Province of Alberta, and the insurance industry, immediately filed an appeal which was recently heard by Alberta’s Court of Appeal. You can read the trial decision in Morrow v. Zhang here.

What Happens Now?

So now what? Two contrasting decisions by two different Provincial Supreme Courts dealing with the same constitutional issue. The case in Alberta is already at the Court of Appeal level. The case here in Nova Scotia will no doubt make its way to our Court of Appeal.

The whole issue will likely have to be sorted out by the Supreme Court of Canada several years from now.

Innocent Victims Pay to Increase Insurance Profits

In the mean time, innocent injured victims pay the price by having their legitimate claims for compensation limited so that insurance companies can make more money.

If you are think you or a family member has suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident and require the services of a Brain Injury Lawyer you can contact me through my website, or call toll-free 1-877-423-2050, for a free consultation or to request a free copy of my book: The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims: How to prove the “invisible injury”.

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