In Ontario, if you have been involved in a car accident or any accident involving a motor vehicle you are entitled to statutory accident benefits.
If an automobile accident victim has what is defined as a minor injury, treatment must proceed under the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG). The maximum value of medical and rehabilitative benefits a minor injury victim is eligible to receive is $3,500. If however you have more than a minor injury you are entitled to $50,000.00 or one million dollars in medical coverage, depending on the date of your accident. If you are deemed to suffer from a minor injury you are also not entitled to $36,000.00 of coverage for attendant care benefits or the one million in coverage available if you have a catastrophic impairment.
The technical definition of minor injury includes sprains, strains, whiplash injuries, contusions, abrasions, lacerations, partial dislocations of joints and any clinically associated sequelae.
Unfortunately, many accident victims in Ottawa will find that regardless of the extent of their injury, the insurance company will say they have a minor injury. This means that the insurance company only has to pay a fraction of the benefits it may otherwise be required to pay. We have seen cases where accident victims have suffered from injuries such as a fractured skull, brain injury or chronic pain, yet have been designated by the car insurance company to suffer from a minor injury. Clearly, these sorts of injuries are not minor.
As an accident victim, you should know that even if you have a minor injury, you may not be limited to the $3,500 minor injury cap. For example, if your sprain or whiplash injury has developed into a chronic pain condition you may be out of the MIG. If you develop depression following the accident, or suffer from a pre-existing condition that will impair your recovery, you may be able to get out of the minor injury cap.
Just because your insurance adjuster writes you a letter saying you have a minor injury doesn’t mean it is true. Just because the insurance company says you have reached the $3,500 minor injury cap doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to $50,000.00 or possibly one million dollars for medical and rehabilitation treatment that is reasonable and necessary.
Sean Giovannetti has a great deal of experience handling accident claims and assisting accident victims get out of the minor injury guideline and $3,500 minor injury cap. The medical funding beyond $3,500 may be crucial to your recovery and what you need to get back on your feet.
To discuss whether your claims may exceed the $3,500 minor injury cap contact Sean Giovannetti for a free no-obligation consultation.