How the Minor Injury Guideline Can Affect You
- March 20, 2015
- Lisa Morell
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Three and a half years after the Minor Injury Guideline was introduced we are on the door of our first trial about whether our client should have been treated within the Minor InjuryGuideline.
Our client is a 32 year old dental assistant who sustained a fractured thumb in the incident as well as a whiplash injury. She continues to have issues with her thumb as well as neck and back pain. She has been paying for treatment privately since she has been unable to access treatment through her automobile insurer beyond $3500.00.
This is despite the fact that she paid her automobile insurance premiums. The accident wasn’t her fault and the legislation specifically defines minor injury and that definition does not include the word “fracture”. Further she is beyond the sub acute and acute phase and the legislation states that the Minor Injury Guideline should have no application beyond the acute and sub-acute phase.
So as you might anticipate we are looking forward to this trial so that there will finally be a decision on the application of the Minor Injury Guideline. Regardless of what the judge decides we expect the decision to go to the Court of Appeal where we were quite successful in the Cornie decision. The court bowing to the fact that policy holders pay insurance premiums and recognizing that insurance legislation is consumer protection legislation.
But guess what? The insurer has now 3.5 years later decided that our client is no longer in the Minor Injury Guideline. So there will be no trial and no Court of Appeal decision….yet. What does it all mean?
For the client? She can access treatment that will be of little benefit 3.5 years later. For the insurer? A continuation of a regime that gives them total control over who is treated in the Minor Injury Guideline – saving them $46,500 per claimant as although these honest hardworking people paid to access $50000 of medical rehabilitation benefits they can only access $3,500.00 until further notice. So with the upcoming election be suspicious of insurers demanding more concessions because they claim they are going broke.