The Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) provides a framework for the treatment and benefits of motor vehicle accident victims who sustain “minor injuries.” While the insurance industry may use the MIG to help curb their payouts and overall costs, accident victims might wind up getting the short end of the stick.
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The Purpose of the MIG
The MIG, a part of the Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule (SABS), replaces the Pre-Authorized Framework, and its contents are pursuant to s. 268.3 of the Insurance Act. The new guidelines provide rules for the goods and services that will be paid for by the insurer without insurer approval if the victim sustains a minor injury.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario explains that the objectives of the MIG are three-fold:
- Speedy treatment – the new guidelines allow for speedier access to rehabilitation services and treatment without prior approval from the insurance company, provided the victim has sustained an injury defined in MIG as a “minor injury;”
- Improve resource utilization – legislators intend the guidelines to “improve utilization of health care resources;” and
- Cost certainty – insurers and health care professions now will have more certainty about the costs and payments they will have to make for injured victims, allowing for better planning and cost reduction.
Injuries & Treatment Approach under the MIG
The MIG only provides accident benefit guidelines for victims who have “minor injuries,” which are defined as a:
- whiplash-associated disorder;
- laceration or subluxation; and
- any clinically associated sequelae.”
The guidelines focus on the application of a functional restoration approach, a 12-week, three-phase program. The functional restoration stipulations are meant to guide the health practitioner towards restoring the victim’s function and designing interventions that help the patient to reduce or manage pain and injury-associated psycho-social symptoms.
Why It’s Important to Classify an Injury Correctly
A rising concern among professionals in the personal injury sector is the limited benefits available for those whose injuries are deemed minor. Someone with minor injuries only has access to a maximum of $3,500 for medical and rehabilitation benefits, whereas non-MIG injuries have access to up to $50,000 in benefits.
Furthermore, accident victims’ injuries might be wrongly, unjustly or prematurely labeled as minor in the industry’s attempt to cut corners. That’s why it’s so important to seek legal assistance after serious accidents or if you encounter problems getting a correct classification. A lawyer may present proper evidence and reports to establish that your injuries are non-minor instead of minor, allowing you access to benefits that more aptly suit your needs.
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Obtain a Free Legal Consultation in Ontario
For answers to legal questions regarding auto liability or MIG accident benefits, or for help with your claim, call the Preszler Law Firm in Ontario. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today at 1-800-JUSTICE®.