How to Maximize CAP. Losses to Claim Outside of Pain & Suffering

If you’ve ever been in an automobile accident in Alberta, you probably called your insurance company, and they may have compensated you with a certain amount of money for your soft tissue injury.

But did you know that there are ways to further maximize your minor injury compensation that the insurance companies don’t want you to know about?

Keep reading to find out what kind of losses you can claim on your minor injury cap that does not include pain and suffering.


What is the Minor Injury CAP in Alberta?

Sherri Wilson, the Superintendent of Insurance announced that they were increasing the soft tissue (minor injury) cap amount in 2021 to $5,365.

You might think that doesn’t sound too bad for a minor injury until you learn what the Insurance companies consider to be a “minor injury.”

There are 4 types of Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) classified by the Government of Alberta which includes:

  • A WAD 1 injury is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing pain or strain in a muscle or ligament, stiffness or tenderness, but still has normal strength and range of motion. The client maintains normal reflexes and muscle strength.
  • A WAD 2 injury is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing pain in a muscle or ligament, along with a decreased range of motion and muscle spasms.
  • A WAD 3 injury is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing pain in a muscle or ligament, along with neurological symptoms. Neurological symptoms can include numbness and tingling in your arms, hands, legs or feet. The client may also be experiencing muscle weakness and slowed or abnormal reflexes.
  • A Wad 4 injury includes a fracture or dislocation of the spine, severe neck pain along with neurological symptoms in the limbs, urinary incontinence due to spinal cord injury, as well as motor weakness and sensory changes.

WAD 1 and 2 injuries are the most common types of WAD injuries when it comes to automobile accidents. The importance of understanding your WAD injury classification is having to tell the insurance companies so they have an idea of how much to compensate you for.

WAD 1 or 2 injuries are considered a “minor” injury by the insurance companies. They will tell you that your claim amount is capped at $5,365. But that isn’t necessarily true.

Losses to Claim Outside of Pain and Suffering

To fully maximize your minor injury claim, insurance companies should also compensate you for the following items:

Treatment costs (physio, chiropractor, massage, etc.)

Loss of wages (from missing work)

Mileage (to and from clinics)

Out of Pocket Expenses (Advil, ice packet, pillows, crutches, prescriptions.)

Eating Out (If you are unable to cook)

Cleaning Expenses (if you are unable to clean your house)

Babysitting expenses for attending appointments.

Dog grooming or doggy daycare (especially for large breeds).

Small property losses (like a cracked phone screen or broken sunglasses).

Loss of deposit on cancelled travel/event/appointment/membership

Parking expenses at treatment providers/hospital

Outdoor maintenance expenses (shovelling, lawn mowing)

And More!


Free Advice Meant an Extra $5100 to Minor Injury Claim

The insurance companies often “leave out” a few of these items…intentionally. This is why I always advise speaking to a lawyer before accepting anything from the insurance companies.

For example, I had an individual call me for advice. The insurance company offered her $4900 for her minor injury claim based on her accident, injuries, and recovery.

While speaking, I asked if she or her insurance company had considered the following:

  • Mileage/Gas driving to and from appointments for her physiotherapy, chiropractor, massage therapist, and doctor’s office.
  • Any out of pocket expenses (Advil, ice packet, crutches, pillow, prescriptions).
  • Food Ordered In (due to unable to cook, or being too busy to cook since she was attending so many appointments).
  • Cleaning expenses (she could not clean her house and had to hire a cleaning company. She had to also rely on a friend/spouse/partner to help with the housework).
  • And more!

Turns out, her insurance company did not take the above into consideration, and let me tell you that these expenses can quickly add up!

I didn’t take this individual on as a client, but instead offered her free advice, tips and guidance. After our chat, she was able to maximize her cap to $10,000.

That’s an extra $5100 than what she was offered. Before you accept anything from your insurance company, it’s always best to speak to a personal injury lawyer.

The Insurance Companies are Choosing Profits over People

The Minor Injury Regulation is an ambiguous and complex piece of legislation. It now states that any soft tissue injury that goes on for more than 6-months is no longer deemed a “minor injury,” but is now in fact a chronic pain case. These types of cases deserve far more compensation that the $5,365.

Unfortunately, many victims are being told by insurance adjusters that all soft tissue injuries are capped and there is nothing else they can do for their claim. This isn’t actually true and it’s very misleading. Only certain kinds of soft tissue injuries are capped.

Remember that insurance companies are not usually on your side. An insurance adjuster’s typical ‘default’ position is that all motor vehicle accident injured people have ‘minor’ injuries, lowering the amount owed to you. They also tend to not inform victims of the types of losses outside of pain and suffering that a person should be tracking and including in their claim.

I always try to empower and educate my clients on their rights to ensure they get compensated for what they deserve. Even just a free consultation could be the difference between a $5000 and $10,000 claim (or more!).

Call the team at McGuiness Law for a FREE CONSULTATION, and remember, we cover all costs, with no fee unless we settle in your favour.