If you’ve read about Alberta minor injury law, you’ve likely heard about “The Cap.” Established in 2004, The Cap is a collection of laws that play a significant role in how accident injury settlements (especially whiplash and soft tissue injuries) play out in Alberta.
However, the Cap doesn’t cover every type of injury, nor does it limit every type of compensation you can receive after an accident. Read on to learn more about how the Cap works in Alberta, as well as how James H. Brown and Associates can help you get fair compensation after an injury.
What is “The Cap?”
In Alberta, many injuries suffered in accidents fall under the Minor Injury Regulations and the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols. These regulations effectively “cap” the amount of compensation a person can receive for pain and suffering in an accident settlement. As such, when people talk about “The Cap” or a “soft tissue injury claim cap” in Alberta, they’re usually talking about these regulations and the maximum amount of a settlement covered by them. For accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2021, the minor injury cap in Alberta is $5365. This amount may be adjusted over time to account for inflation.
In November 2020, Alberta passed Bill 41, which changed the definition of “minor injuries” covered by the Cap. According to the legislation, a minor injury now includes sprains, strains, and whiplash-related injuries “caused by the accident that [do] not result in a 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 the sprain, strain or WAD injury, whether physical or psychological in nature, caused by the accident that do not result in a serious impairment”.
When Does the Cap Not Apply?
A soft tissue injury may not be subject to the Cap if:
- It limits your ability to work, attend school, or perform other essential tasks.
- It has not improved within three to six months.
- It is not expected to improve (i.e.: your injuries result in a permanent disability).
Most importantly, the Cap only limits damages awarded for pain and suffering. The Cap does not necessarily limit other types of damages, including loss of income, inability to perform housekeeping tasks, and long-term care expenses. It’s important to get sound legal advice to determine the full extent of your damages, as well as the best way to obtain fair compensation for them.
What to Do If You’re Injured
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in an accident, take the following steps to ensure you’re able to receive the compensation you deserve:
- Seek medical attention. Nothing will ever be as important as your health; be sure to see a doctor or other medical professional quickly after your accident. Even seemingly “minor” injuries can get worse over time, and many insurance companies will claim you’re making up your injury claims if you don’t get checked out right away.
- Start documenting damages. If your accident prevents you from working, leads to medical expenses, or otherwise alters your day-to-day routine, be sure to document all the changes you experience. We recommend keeping keep a journal of “damages” and lifestyle changes caused by their accident. When it’s time to make a claim and pursue a settlement, this information will be vital for getting complete and fair compensation for your injury.
- Seek legal advice ASAP. Accident law in Alberta is complicated; the best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve is to enlist a team of experienced injury lawyers to help you navigate the legal process.
Attaining Justice with James H. Brown
Since 1993, James H. Brown and Associates has proudly stood up for Albertans’ rights in accident injury law. Our team understands firsthand what it’s like to be seriously injured, and has over 200 years of combined experience securing fair compensation for our clients through settlements and court proceedings.
No two accidents are the same; that’s why we offer a complete range of services and support for our clients, including:
- An award-winning team of injury lawyers with an unrivalled record of success.
- Comprehensive investigation and evidence preservation services, including accident reconstruction and analysis.
- Access to experts able to determine 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 much more!
Do You or a Loved One Need Legal Advice After a Serious Injury?
Contact us today to book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates’ injury lawyers.