A Message from Your Injury Lawyer: The Minor Injury Regulation Caps & Compensation Categories
As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, it is important to note that the Minor Injury Regulation caps pain and suffering compensation for certain soft-tissue injury claimants. To ensure fair compensation, it is critical that your personal injury lawyers at McCourt Law Offices obtain medical proof if you have sustained auto accident injuries other than to muscles, tendons and ligaments, or if your injuries have evolved into chronic pain and/or have permanently impaired your ability to perform some of your normal pre-accident activities of daily living.
Accordingly, it is crucial that you mention to your doctors and therapists all physical and psychological injuries that you have suffered in the accident, and how those injuries are causing you difficulty or discomfort in performing any of your regular lifestyle activities at home, work and play.
Whether or not your pain and suffering compensation is capped, you may also be entitled to compensation for other categories of damages, which we will discuss in more detail shortly. But in that regard, note that your case is not about truth, it is about proof. In other words, something might be true, but if we do not obtain documented proof, you will not be fairly compensated. The most common compensation categories, other than pain and suffering compensation, are: • Compensation for income loss • Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses • Compensation for loss of homemaking capacity.
If you provide our office with detailed documentary proof of any losses you incur under those categories, there is a decent chance we will be able to recover compensation for you under those “heads of damages”. If not, frankly your chances of being fairly compensated will be very slim.
COMPENSATION FOR LOST INCOME
We’ll begin with a brief discussion about claims for lost income. A person hurt by a negligent driver is legally entitled to compensation for net income loss, basically, any lost take-home pay minus any disability payments received. So for example, let’s say that you gross $3000 per month and net $2400 per month (after deductions for tax, EI and CPP). And let’s further assume for example that your accident injuries keep you off work for two months, during which time your own car insurance company pays you Section B disability benefits of $2800. In that case, you would have a net income loss claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for $2000 ($2400 per month multiplied by two months minus the Section B disability payments). Usually, what we will require from an injured claimant such as yourself to prove an income loss claim is a letter from your employer outlining the following information: • When did you start working for that employer, in what job position and at what wage? • What was your job and salary at the accident date, and what’s your current job and salary? • How much work time did you miss and net (take-home) pay did you lose since the accident?
As a general rule the best time for you to obtain such a letter from your employer is once you are back to work and no longer losing any income. Bottom line regarding an income loss claim: if money would have been going into your pocket if you hadn’t been hurt in this accident, and you can prove it, you’ve got an income loss claim.
COMPENSATION FOR OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES
Similarly, if money is coming out of your pocket because of your accident injuries, and you aren’t being reimbursed for those out-of-pocket expenses by your own auto insurer, or by some group plan at work, we want to help you recover those expenses. Keep receipts! And keep a log of kilometers traveled to and from caregivers due to this accident.
COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF HOMEMAKING CAPACITY
The last compensation category we want to discuss in this blog is loss of homemaking capacity. If your accident injuries have rendered you less able to do housework and yard maintenance, we will be able to seek compensation under this “head of damages” if you maintain records evidencing your impaired homemaking capacity. Make note of the chores you did before the accident, and how long it took you to do them in the average week, and then make note of the changes since the accident: • Are you still doing the chores? • Is it taking you longer, or are you doing them less often? • If you’re now getting additional help with the chores because of your accident injuries, how many extra hours is your helper putting into the housework? Be sure to log these details in a diary and share them with your personal injury lawyers. Document the division of homemaking/yard maintenance labor in your household in a typical week before the accident, and then outline the division of household labor at your home for each and every week after the accident, right up until it returns to normal, i.e., how it was before the accident.
Case law has established that an injured person with lost homemaking capacity should be compensated for that loss, so keeping track of this can potentially increase the compensation our firm can recover on your behalf by thousands of dollars.
CONNECT WITH EDMONTON’S MCCOURT LAW OFFICES FOR INJURY LAWYERS COMMITTED TO YOU
Over the past 25 years, the dedicated team of personal injury lawyers at McCourt Law Offices has resolved thousands of motor vehicle accident injury claims on behalf of innocent Albertans victimized by careless drivers. We believe that empowering our clients with the knowledge they need about their cases is integral to successful claim resolution. Connect with us today, and let our firm do what we do best — help you fight for your right to fair compensation!
Call us today at (780) 448-0011 or toll-free at 1-877-448-0011 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our accident injury lawyers in Edmonton. There is no fee until you collect.