Minor Injury Guideline ("MIG") and the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
This brief article is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Every case is different and legal advice should be sought from a qualified legal professional.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Ottawa or anywhere else in Ontario and are told your injuries fall within the minor injury guideline, feel free to call us for a free consultation.
QTMG – Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers
In 2010, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released the Minor Injury Guideline which have been subsequently revised. The MIG provides a FSCO-approved process for the treatment of what is considered non complicated musculoskeletal injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident in Ontario. The MIG was thought to assist by expediting treatment by providing a pre-approved treatment coverage process. This would result in less delays and reduce the approval requirements for treatment.
There remains some confusion as to what injuries fall within the MIG and which do not.?Personal injury lawyers are starting to get a better handle on what injuries are included in the MIG versus excluded.
What is considered a minor injury?
The MIG outlines two criteria that must be met for an injury to be considered a minor injury and included in the MIG:
I.????????? The injury must fall within the MIG definition of minor injury; and
II.????????There must be no "compelling evidence" of a pre-existing injury that could prevent recovery of minor injuries within the MIG cap of $3,500.
The MIG defines a minor injury as "a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation and any clinically associated sequelea". The term minor injury is to be interpreted to apply where a person sustains any one or more of these injuries.
Since the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule ("SABS") was amended to introduce the Minor Injury Guideline ("MIG"), many injury victims are shocked to hear that their painful injuries are considered minor and subject to the $3,500 cap.
Arguably, the term minor injury in the MIG can be viewed as a misnomer since the definition is not based upon the severity of a person’s injuries but on the type of injury a person has in fact suffered. An injured victim who has suffered a soft tissue injury for instance will have an injury falling within the MIG regardless of the severity of the injuries.
Pursuant to the MIG, medical and rehabilitation benefits are capped at $3,500. Many injury victims and their lawyers believe this sum to be insufficient in many cases to cover the needed medical treatment for the injuries caused as a result of an automobile accident.
The MIG is relatively new and it is subject to judicial review and interpretation. The MIG has received very little interpretation by the courts and tribunals but is sure to be the subject of significant litigation.