New Brunswick considers injury cap

Minor injury cap - New Brunswick next to consider amendment

New Brunswick is the latest province to consider amending the minor injury cap for auto accident victims. New Brunswick looks at what their neighbour, Nova Scotia has done and is considering changes.

In a car crash there can be more then one injured person. Where one person may suffer serious injury you may have one or more passenger with only whiplash-type of injury. Nova Scotia's limit now says that the minor injury can only pay out the maximum of $7,500. This is an increase from $2,500.

The Nova Scotia injury act will also have a revised definition. Alberta has a similar one which gives a more precise definition of minor injury. This should narrow the number of people making minor injury claims. It does open up a wider range for people to sue for greater pay outs when the injury is not labeled as minor.

New Brunswick now gets to see what results come from the change in Nova Scotia. Will insurance rates change there? Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele does not expect a negative effect on insurance rates. As well the insurance companies will have to show that their costs have increased before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will allow changes.

New Brunswick's cap of $2,500 was set in 2003. The debate will hinge on if this is now considered too low an amount. This precedent of adjusting the cap upwards has been set by Alberta and Nova Scotia. It will be interesting to see if those provinces see insurance rate increases.