Motor vehicle accidents are commonly unforeseen events that can have serious and lasting implications, especially for those who unfortunately sustain a personal injury as a result of the accident. Tkatch & Associates genuinely cares about the well-being of its clients and will vehemently fight for the rights of victims who have regrettably suffered a loss. Our firm has over 30 years experience in personal injury law and is proud to serve Toronto, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Muskoka area, Huntsville, Temiskaming, North Bay, Cornwall, Kingston and surrounding areas.
Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
Under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (“SABS”), any person directly involved in a motor vehicle accident who subsequently suffers from an impairment is entitled to claim accident benefits. Impairment is defined in the SABS as “a loss or abnormality of a psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function.” However, it is important to note, that the SABS provides different levels of benefits based on the severity and classification of an individual’s impairment. These levels are broken down into the following three categories: minor impairments, non catastrophic impairments, and catastrophic impairments. This article focuses on minor impairments which are guided by the Minor Injury Guideline (“MIG”).
Minor Injury Guideline (“MIG”)
The MIG provides a framework for the treatment of insured individuals who sustain minor injuries as a result of their accident. It guides how accident victims will be covered for goods and services by their insurers, if their impairment is considered to be minor and within the MIG. The MIG focuses on a functional restoration approach in the management of minor injuries. This means that treatment is oriented in a way that aims to reduce the pain suffered by an accident victim whilst also attempting to bring the victim to their pre-accident function level. The minor injuries defined by the MIG include: Sprain, Strain, Whiplash associated disorder, Contusion, Abrasion, Laceration, and Subluxation. For a detailed explanation of each, please refer directly to the MIG, which is cited below.
Objectives of the MIG
The objectives of the MIG are to:
1. Speed access to rehabilitation for persons who sustain minor injuries in auto accidents;
2. Improve utilization of health care resources
3. Provide certainty around cost and payment for insurers and regulated health professionals; and
4. Be more inclusive in providing immediate access to treatment without insurer approval for those persons with minor injuries
Monetary Limits of MIG
When an individual is classified as suffering from a minor impairment, the monetary amount available from insurance companies for treatment is significantly reduced. The maximum amount of treatment funds allotted to a minor injury victim is $3,500. In some minor injury cases this will be satisfactory; however, for the majority, this amount is simply not enough.
Impairments that do not come within the MIG
Once categorized as suffering from a minor impairment, victims must provide compelling evidence that their impairment is beyond the minor injury classification and/or that a pre-existing health condition precludes them from the limits of the MIG, in order to receive greater monetary benefits for treatment. However, it is important to note that the existence of any pre-existing health condition will not automatically exclude a person’s impairment from the MIG. Compelling evidence must be provided confirming not only the presence of a pre-existing health condition, but also that the individual will not be able to achieve maximal recovery from the minor injury with the allotted $3,500. Once out of the minor injury category, the amount of monetary benefits is substantially higher. For example, non-catastrophic impairment entitles a victim to a maximum of $65,000, which includes both medical/rehabilitation and attendant care benefits.
Tkatch & Associates- Let us Help
Tkatch & Associates has a proven track record of success and takes great pride in helping victims recover from unfortunate personal injury accidents. We are committed to our clients, their recovery and overall well-being. We provide only personable, reliable, and meaningful representation, whilst also being very well versed with the current law. Our firm has experience dealing with a variety of bodily injuries, including: spinal cord, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, concussions, tears, and dislocations. Tkatch & Associates also offers services in relation to slip and fall accidents, denied long term disability, dog bites, and boating accidents. If you suffer from any personal injury matter, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. A Toronto personal injury lawyer from our firm will happily assist you and be personally involved in your matter.
Links / Sources:
1. https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/100034#BK20 (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule)
2. https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/autobulletins/2014/Documents/a-01-14-1.pdf (Minor Injury Guideline)
3. https://www.fsrao.ca/industry/auto-insurance-sector/guidance/2020-automobile-insurance-indexation-amounts (2020 Automobile Insurance Indexation Amounts)
4. http://www.tkatchlaw.ca/team-view/murray-tkatch/ (Murray Tkatch, Founder and Senior Lawyer, Tkatch & Associates)
By: Rishi Sharma