The New Brunswick is seeking public input on proposed changes to the Insurance Act, which include tripling the cap on damages for soft tissue injuries sustained in automobile accidents to $7,500.

The government also plans to change the definition of minor injury to allow more people in serious accidents to seek higher levels of compensation, said Justice Minister Marie-Claude Blais.

A draft of proposed amendments, announced in June, has now been posted on the government's website.

Citizens have until March 7 to provide feedback, she said.


Justice Minister Marie-Claude Blais says the changes are expected to be implemented on May 1. (CBC)

The changes are scheduled to be implemented on May 1.

Moncton lawyer Stéphane Viola, who sat on the on the government's Auto Insurance Working Group struck in 2011, contends the cap should be even higher.

He would like to see it increased to $15,000, he told CBC News on Friday.

The current cap is $2,500.

Viola also said the government has been slow to bring forward the proposed changes.

"But I mean, the minister just spoke recently and said they wanted to do things right. So if doing things right means there’s still opportunity to tweak this change, I would say we’re going at the right pace," he said.

"But if we are dead fast onto just doing what they proposed to do, I think it took way too long to do this. They could have done this the day after the election."

Viola does not believe the changes will affect insurance premiums.

"The insurance industry in New Brunswick has experienced unprecedented record profit over the last 10 years so if there is a decrease in the amount of profits they make this year I think they can look at the last 10 years, at these 40 and 50 per cent return in equity as saying those were the good years, now we’re going to take a leaner approach," he said.

The Liberals dropped insurance rates by an average of 13.5 per cent in 2006-07.

The current cap of $2,500 was put in place in 2003, when insurance rates had skyrocketed and the industry was blaming personal injury payouts.