On October 1, 2004, Alberta's PC government imposed on certain car crash whiplash victims a "Minor Injury" Regulation, purporting to cap pain and suffering compensation for those victims at $4000 (the cap has increased slightly over the years to account for inflation). The regulation was enacted after persistent lobbying from an insurance industry whose pleas of poverty were, to borrow a phrase from philosopher Harry Frankfurt, "not germane to the enterprise of describing reality."
In fact, insurance companies were enjoying all-time high profits prior to the cap, and have seen an eye-popping increase in profits ever since. But the government nevertheless opted to slash victim compensation in order to subsidize insurance rate reductions, primarily for high-risk young male drivers. Not surprisingly, traffic accident fatality rates in Alberta spiked by over 20% in the year after the so-called insurance "reforms" were implemented.
The cap was set to expire in 2018, but Rachel Notley’s NDP quietly eliminated the expiry date in a decision made behind closed doors without any legislative debate whatsoever. Adding insult to injury, the NDP government also added people with certain TMJ (jaw joint) and psychological injuries to the list of car crash victims subject to an insurance compensation cap. Considering that the NDP vocally opposed the cap when their PC predecessors introduced it, Nötley Crüe’s decision to favor the multi-billion dollar insurance industry over vulnerable victims smacks of rank hypocrisy. McCourt Law Offices urges our Alberta government to review and repeal this unjust, unnecessary, unconservative injury cap, restoring full and fair compensation to innocent injured auto accident victims. Click here to read our position paper provided to the Prentice PCs 10 years post-cap.
At McCourt Law Offices, we pledge to fight for our clients' rights to full and fair compensation. Call us today for a free initial consultation.
McCourt Report on Tory Tort Deform: This paper offers a chronology of certain events from 2001 - 2004 surrounding the consideration and enactment of legislation and regulations "reforming" motor vehicle accident injury litigation in Alberta.
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