Ever since way back in 2004, there has been a cap to the compensation you can obtain following an accident which left you with soft tissue injuries. This is because these types of injuries have been deemed as minor by the government. Back when this cap was first introduced, it was set at $4,000. However, due to inflation, that amount has been upped to $5,202 as of this year, 2019. This marks a 2.4% increase from the previous year.
Prior to the introduction of this cap, any injury which stuck with the victim for 3 to 6 months would have potentially led to a pain and suffering in the height of $5,000 to $15,000. Now, thanks to the minor injury cap, this amount has been severely limited, with the upper limit being set anew every year. The exact amount is always determined by the government and indexed for the new inflation rate.
The origin of the minor injury cap
Back in the early 2000s, insurance companies were lobbying the government because of supposedly huge profit losses due to settlements stemming from motor vehicle collision victims. These insurance companies were asking for a no-fault system to be implemented as means of severely limiting compensation for these victims. After all, a no-fault system would only allow them to be compensated for a very limited set of losses.
They ultimately compromised by introducing the cap on soft tissue minor injuries and their associated non-pecuniary general damages. Namely, pain and suffering damages. In the eyes of the government, this meant that victims would still receive all necessary compensation to make them whole again, while still easing the financial pressure on the insurance companies.
What exactly is a soft tissue injury?
Also considered to be a minor injury, a soft tissue injury refers to any damage to the muscles, tendons, tissue, or ligaments of a person, which does not result in long-term issues for the victim in regards to any activity or work. If an injury falls into this category, then the associated pain and suffering damages will be capped. However, it should be noted that this cap does not apply to associated damages such as wage losses, cost of care, out of pocket expenses, or the loss of someone’s housekeeping capacity. It should also be mentioned that an injury which appears to be minor, can later reveal itself to be more severe, due to late onset symptoms.
If you were injured in an accident that led to soft tissue injuries, it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Grand Prairie. They will evaluate your case and let you know if you stand to gain compensation.