April 22, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
As careful as we try and to be most of us will end up in some kind of car accident in our lifetime. Hopefully, the accident is not serious and everyone emerges unscathed. Sadly though, car accidents often leave the drivers, passengers, or pedestrians/cyclists with injuries that require medical attention. Sometimes they can lead to serious life-threatening injuries with long-term impacts.
It seems doubly unfair that you’ve been hurt due to no fault of your own and may not be able to work for a few days or weeks, need to pay for drugs, and are in pain. It’s even worse if you sustain major life-altering injuries. In Ontario, we are required to have auto insurance if we own a car, and that insurance is designed to provide a safety net of sorts for us and others in an accident.
The no-fault insurance scheme in Ontario allows for benefits to be paid out if you are in an accident. These benefits are designed to help relieve some of the huge financial strain that you may face following an accident. Under the scheme, you may be eligible to claim Statutory Accident Benefits (SABS). These benefits are set out in guidelines and there are three levels of benefits:
- Minor impairments
- Non-catastrophic impairments
- Catastrophic impairments
The categories are well defined in the guidelines as are the maximum payable benefits. Accessing the benefits requires you to follow very specific timelines, provide medical information, and meet certain thresholds of impairments. You must apply for the benefits to the insurance company using the defined process.
What are Minor Injuries?
The definition of a minor injury is laid out in the MIGS (minor injury guideline) in the SABS. The details of the benefits you may be eligible for as well as the maximum monetary amounts of benefits are also clearly defined. These benefits are designed to help you get the medical care you need to recover to your pre-accident self.
Minor injury claims can only be made if you have qualified for them. Injuries that fall within the MIG are:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lacerations and subluxations
How does the MIG benefit work?
Once you have applied for benefits under the MIG and been approved by the insurer they will pay for services and goods that you need for your recovery. The type of benefits and maximum amounts are well defined. For a minor injury services like medical procedures, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and medications required for your recovery may be covered.
How much will they pay?
If you’ve sustained a minor injury then the MAXIMUM amount that the insurer is required to pay for your treatments and recovery is $3500.00 per accident. This limit is set in the MIG. It often isn’t enough to allow a full recovery.
It’s important to understand that the guidelines can be complex and that when you are already stressed, injured, and focussed on your recovery, it can be difficult to deal with the insurer and to keep track of your benefits and obligations under the MIG.
Injuries that fall outside the MIG
All injuries that are more serious than the list in the MIG fall under the other two categories – Non-Catastrophic impairments and Catastrophic Impairments. You can read about those in the upcoming posts this month.
Have you been injured?
If you’ve been injured in an accident you should contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Deutschmann Personal Injury and Disability Law to ensure you get compensation to pay for the care you need.