In September 2010, there were a number of significant changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). In our experience, the Minor Injury Guidelines (“MIG”) has had the greatest impact on car accident victims. It has significantly restricted injured individuals access to medical and rehabilitation benefits which has resulted in them languishing without the appropriate care. It is not unusual to have individuals who are unable to work yet they are slotted in the Minor Injury Guidelines.
A “Minor Injury” is defined as a “sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and clinically associated sequelae”. If you fit within the Guideline, then your medical and rehabilitation benefits are limited to $3,500.00 as opposed to $50,000. It is important to note that the amount of money available in the MIG is the lowest in Canada. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the design of the MIG anticipated that approximately 55% to 65% of all accident benefits claimants would be subject to the $3,500 cap. However, it is our experience that the vast majority of claims expect very serious injuries are automatically slotted within the Minor Injury Guidelines by the insurers. We suspect that the number of injured accident victims placed in the MIG is much higher than initially anticipated.
We have used a number of strategies to ensure our clients are not slotted within the Minor Injury Guidelines or have our clients removed from them so that they can receive the necessary care to recover from their injuries. Given the dramatic reduction in amount and typical duration of benefits available under the Minor Injury Guidelines, it is imperative you speak with a lawyer knowledgeable about the MIG if you have suffered what the insurance company is claiming to be a minor injury in a car accident.
If your insurance company placed you in the Minor Injury Guidelines and you are still hurt and in pain, speak to one of our lawyers and we will conduct a review of your situation and work to try to ensure that you receive the necessary treatment to recovery from your injuries.
To arrange a free initial consultation with one of your lawyers, contact us at 613-238-1424 or complete our online form.