The Minor Injury Guideline has become a thorn in many of our sides since its introduction on September 1, 2010. Since then, a person who suffers a sprain, strain, whiplash associated disorder, contusion, abrasion, laceration or subluxation as a result of a car accident falls under the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) for accident benefits.
For those who suffer only a so-called “minor” injury, the available medical and rehabilitation benefits are only $3,500. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from whiplash, dislocations, and other of these common types of injuries require lengthy periods of treatment and therapy. In those cases, $3,500 is not enough to ensure a fulsome recovery. By contrast, people who fall outside of the MIG because they have suffered a fracture will have $50,000 available to them in medical and rehabilitation benefits.
Fortunately, the definition of minor injury does not include “concussion”. As such, we have been very successful in removing clients from the MIG whenever they have been diagnosed with a concussion. And because health care providers are much better trained and well-versed in concussions today than fifteen or even ten years ago, more and more clients are being removed from the MIG.
One of the ways health care providers assist us in removing clients from the MIG is by simply keeping proper and comprehensive notes. In most cases, the emergency room physician diagnosis the concussion on the day of the accident, or the family physician makes the diagnosis shortly thereafter. In other cases where symptoms persist, the treating occupational therapist or physiotherapist may chart the symptoms which eventually lead to the diagnosis of a concussion down the road.
Regardless of when the diagnosis is made, the clinical notes and records from the treating health practitioners play a pivotal role in persuading the insurer to remove the client from the MIG. The insurer has no choice but to remove the person from the MIG once we provide the clinical notes and records to the insurer and they confirm a well-documented concussion.
About the Authors
When Rob Durante was called to the bar in 1997, he had been articling for a year with a law firm that specialized in defending insurance companies in personal injury cases. “I developed a sense of wanting to right injustices,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to work for the insurance companies… For me, it’s all about achieving justice for clients, righting wrongs and arranging fair compensation.” Rob joined Oatley Vigmond that same year and has been advocating for seriously injured clients and their families ever since.