The short answer is yes. You may be eligible to receive general benefits in accordance with Ontario’s Minor Injury Guideline (MIG). The MIG provides a framework for the treatment of insured individuals who sustain minor injuries in a car accident. Below, we discuss this guideline in greater detail.
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Objectives of the Minor Injury Guideline
The MIG is a part of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule or SABS. Under the SABS, there are different levels of benefits car accident victims may be able to receive based on the severity of their impairments. These levels include minor impairments, non-catastrophic impairments and catastrophic impairments.
For minor injuries or impairments, the MIG provides rules for the goods and services that will be paid for by the insurer to an insured individual.
The overall objectives of the guideline is to:
- Speed up treatment – Quicker access to rehabilitation services and treatment for car accident victims who sustain minor injuries without needing prior approval from the insurer
- Improve resource utilization – The intent is to enhance the operation of health care resources
- Provide cost certainty – Insurers and health care providers now have more certainty around costs and payment for injured victims, allowing for better planning and cost reduction
Minor Injuries That Qualify for Accident Benefits
Accident benefits are only provided to insured individuals whose minor injury qualifies under the guideline. The MIG defines a minor injury as one or more of the following:
- Whiplash-associated disorder
- Laceration or subluxation (partial dislocation of a joint)
- Any clinically associated sequelae (condition resulting from a disease or injury)
For instance, you may qualify for benefits if you suffered a sprain or strain in an accident that caused a partial, but not a complete tear to one or more muscles, tendons or ligaments.
The MIG also has a structured 12-week treatment course consisting of three phases that health care providers can use to help victims reduce or manage their pain and injury-related symptoms.
The Importance of Identifying an Injury Accurately
Although treatment of minor injuries from an accident does not require the insurer’s approval, the MIG does limit the benefit amount victims have access to.
An insured individual with minor injuries only has access to a maximum of $3,500 for medical and rehabilitation benefits. In some cases, this amount may be sufficient to cover costs, but for most injured victims, this amount is not nearly enough to pay for the treatment required to make a recovery.
This is why it is important that you seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident, even if your injuries seem minor. You do not want any injuries you suffer to be misclassified or discredited by an insurer. They work tirelessly to devalue and deny claims in an attempt to save themselves money.
An experienced lawyer can help you gather the proper evidence (i.e. reports and medical records) to accurately establish the extent of your injuries. Doing so could allow you access to additional benefits.
Schedule a Free Legal Consultation Today
A Windsor-based car accident lawyer from our firm is ready to communicate and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf to help recover the compensation you need. We have decades of experience handling car accident claims and are well-versed in different insurance policies.
Let us review your situation and any answer any questions you may have about the legal process in a risk-free consultation. There is no obligation after this initial meeting to have us represent you. However if you do decide to move forward, we charge no upfront fees to take or work on a case.
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