Why So Serious?: Early Analysis of the Definition of "Serious Impairment" Under Alberta's Minor Injury Regulation


  • Christine J. Pratt
  • Brian D. Filips
  • Danielle Bourgeois
  • Artem Barsukov




This article examines the interpretation of “serious impairment” as defined in Alberta’s Minor Injury Regulation (MIR). It first assesses the similarities and differences between the definitions of serious impairment found in the MIR and similar legislation from several provinces. It then discusses the five factors required to find a serious impairment proposed by Justice Shelly in Sparrowhawk v. Zapoltinsky, and interprets the factors using case law from other provincial jurisdictions. The article concludes that the Alberta MIR is distinct in three major aspects. Therefore, non-Alberta jurisprudence must be approached with caution, but may nevertheless be of some value in interpreting the Alberta regulation.

Author Biographies

Christine J. Pratt

Partner and civil litigator with Field LLP, Edmonton, Alberta

Brian D. Filips

Partner with Field LLP, Edmonton, Alberta

Danielle Bourgeois

Associate with Field LLP, Edmonton, Alberta

Artem Barsukov

Associate with Bennett Jones LLP