Background To Recent Changes To Personal Injury Law In Alberta
The minor injury regulations limit the compensation for pain and suffering caused by minor soft tissue injuries to $4000. That amount has been adjusted for inflation to currently just over $4500. These regulations were a significant departure from the old system, in which a person’s injuries would be assessed based on previous cases, and there was no cap specifically to the compensation for soft tissue injuries.
Two cases went through the court as test cases to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation and the new cap on the compensation for soft tissue injuries. These cases were heard at the Court of Queen’s Bench, which is the Alberta superior court. In February 2008, the court rendered a decision saying that the law was unconstitutional. This decision set aside the 2004 legislation, returned courts to the previous manner of assessing injury claims, and removed the cap.
In 2008, the Court of Appeal heard the appeal of this judgment and rendered their decision in June, 2009. The Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s decision, saying that the law wasn’t unconstitutional and therefore was valid. This gave the authority back to the legislation that imposed the cap on compensation.
In August, an application was filed with the Supreme Court of Canada, for leave to appeal.. It’s very difficult to get a case heard by the Supreme Court, and in order to do so, the court has to determine that the case is of national importance. Whether or not the Court will hear the appeal should be determined by December 2009.
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Calgary, Alberta Region, contact Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers.