The new legislation caps non-pecuniary (pain and suffering) losses for all “minor injuries” at $5,500 adjusted for inflation.
If a person suffers more than one injury because of an accident, each injury must be diagnosed separately as to whether the injury is a “minor injury”. If all the injuries are deemed “minor” you don’t get $5,500 maximum per injury for pain and suffering but rather, all the combined injuries are worth a maximum of $5,500 for pain and suffering. In other words, you could literally have a full body injury that is all soft tissue in nature, but it is still deemed a “minor injury” short of proving a “serious impairment”.
If one or more injuries is minor and one or more is not, the total non-pecuniary damages for all the injuries is the sum of:
- Up to the maximum “minor injury” cap of $5,500 for all minor injuries combined; plus
- The amount of damages for the non-minor injury or
Therefore, when you have multiple injuries with one of the injuries being outside of the “minor injury” category you get more compensation under the new legislation as you get up to $5,500 added to what you would normally receive for pain and suffering.
Ongoing claims for other heads of damage such as past wage loss, ‘in-trust’ claims, out-of-pocket expenses (special damages), loss of earning capacity, loss of housekeeping services and cost of future care remain in place under the legislation. However, the legislation does negatively affect the amount you can claim. These restrictions are discussed later in this Chapter.