Tara Miller – August 2016
Minor Injury and Loss of Valuable Services aka “Loss of Housekeeping Ability”
Nova Scotia’s Insurance Act provides a cap on the amount of damages those injured in a motor vehicle accident can obtain for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (also called “general damages”) IF the injury they have meets the definition of a “minor injury”. The cap for such injuries arising from accidents in 2016 is $8,385.
However, it’s important to know that even if your injuries meet the definition of a “minor injury” (stay tuned for a future blog entry which addresses the considerations in deciding whether or not your injuries meet this definition), you may have entitlement to other different damages such as monetary compensation for the impact the accident injuries have had on your ability to do your housekeeping.
Nova Scotia judges have decided that those injured in accidents are entitled to a separate head of damage for the impact of those injuries on their ability to perform pre-accident duties and functions around the home. In cases where injuries were found to meet the definition of “minor injury”, awards of between $1,500 and $7,500 have been made depending on each injured person’s individual circumstances and responsibilities. For example, a 60-year old living in a one-bedroom condo with no snow clearing or lawn maintenance would likely receive less compensation for loss of valuable services then a 35-year old parent who was responsible for maintaining a household.
Medical evidence is required to demonstrate the impact of the accident injury on an individual’s ability to complete necessary household work both inside and outside of the home. Without such evidence, it can be difficult to convince insurers to include an amount for Loss of Valuable Services in a final settlement amount. Your MDW Law personal injury lawyer will review the impact of your injuries upon your ability to complete the household chores you did prior to the accident and ensure the necessary medical evidence is available to properly compensate you.