The value of a personal injury claim is determined through a calculation of your heads of damages. There are several heads of damages which are classified as pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages. Special damages, also known as pecuniary damages, are monetary awards for specific losses such as economic losses, including repair costs, loss of income, loss of future income, loss of housekeeping, and medical and rehabilitation costs. General Damages, also known as non-pecuniary damages, are awards to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
1. General Damages
In 1978 the Supreme Court of Canada put a limit on the amount of general damages one can claim. Accounting for inflation, that current limit is $366,000.00, and is only awarded in those cases where some one has suffered catastrophic injuries. In 2004 the Alberta government implemented legislation that caps general damages for pain and suffering at $4000.00 for “minor injuries”. This amount is increased every year for inflation. The 2023 CAP in Alberta is $5,817.