2022 is in full swing, and with many Albertans now resuming their daily commute to and from the office, it’s even more important to be aware of the changes made to the Minor Injury Regulations and the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols (better known as the “Cap” in the insurance industry). As of January 1, 2022, Alberta’s Government increased the minor injury maximum to $5,365. When it comes to taking care of yourself after an accident, the Cap plays a huge role in determining your quality of care and pain reduction.
At James H. Brown and Associates, we’re here to help you make sure you have the support you need to receive adequate care and reasonable settlements in the event of an accident or collision. Founded in 1993 James H. Brown and Associates takes our commitment to personal injury law seriously, offering our clients exceptional service and peace of mind that you can trust.
Below, we’ll talk about a few of the ins and outs of Minor Injury Regulation in Alberta and what YOU need to know if you’re in an accident. Read on to learn more.
What is the Minor Injury Cap?
Established in 2004, the Minor Injury Regulation (Cap) was introduced by the Government to limit compensation for injuries deemed “minor” or less severe as the result of a motor vehicle accident. The “goal” of introducing the Cap was to simultaneously ensure that those injured in an accident would receive compensation for their treatment and recovery, but also to lower the rising costs associated with insurance premiums due to payouts.
It’s important to note that The Minor Injury Regulation only places a cap on pain and suffering damages for those who receive minor soft tissue injuries. It does not place a cap on compensation for income loss, medical expenses, cost of care, or future treatment costs. In short, while the government may moderate and place a limit on what you can receive for a minor injury, you are able to pursue support for a wide variety of other factors outside of soft tissue injuries.
What is Considered a Minor Injury?
As per the Minor Injury Regulation, injuries considered minor are sprains, strains or whiplash associated disorder (WAD) resulting from a motor vehicle accident that does not result in a serious impairment. As of November 2020, the definition of minor injury has expanded to include:
“injuries caused by the accident that [do] not result in serious impairment and includes, in respect of a sprain, strain or WAD injury that occurs on or after November 1, 2020, any clinically associated sequelae of sprain, strain, or WAD injury, whether physical or psychological in nature, caused by the accident that does not result in a serious impairment.”
What this means is that injuries that are now associated with whiplash, sprains, or strains may be considered minor, including psychological injuries that were once excluded. With the definition of a minor injury now being broader (and vaguer as a result), it can now be more difficult to receive a sizeable settlement that exceeds the limit of the government Cap unless you are able to prove that your injuries are outside the realm of what would be considered minor. Examples of exceptions that would fall outside of the cap include:
- Chronic injuries (injuries deemed to be permanent and life-altering).
- Injuries that impair your ability to perform everyday tasks at work or at home.
- Jaw injuries that are classified as “TMJ dysfunction” by a dentist or TMJ specialists, and more.
James H. Brown and Associates’ Cap Guarantee
With over 250 years of combined experience among our injury law team James H. Brown and Associates remains passionate about advocating for proper care and settlements in the aftermath of motor vehicle accidents. Since 1993, we’ve partnered with Albertans to overcome and resolve tens of thousands of soft tissue and whiplash cases while ensuring our clients receive complete, fair compensation for their injuries. We’re proud to give you the representation you deserve when it matters most, and to offer you the following Cap Guarantee: if the damages you receive from your accident settlement are limited to pain and suffering and restricted by the Cap, we waive our fees*.
In addition to our guarantee, James H. Brown and Associates proudly offers a complete range of services and support for our clients throughout the legal process, including:
- An award-winning team of injury lawyers with knowledge and expertise you can trust.
- Comprehensive investigation and evidence preservation services, including accident reconstruction and analysis.
- Access to leading experts that provide valuable insights on the full extent of injuries and provide important documentation for your case.
- Strong relationships with organizations ready to help you and your family with rehabilitation and recovery, and more.
With James H. Brown and Associates on your side, you never have to worry about facing the road to recovery alone. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one move forward and pursue fair settlements and relief in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident in Alberta.