The government recently made changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits that will affect personal injury victims. There are three major changes that will have an impact on the following aspects of personal injury law:
- how pre-existing conditions are dealt with under the Minor Injury Guideline
- attendant care benefits for family members
- the ability to alter benefits if the injuries are designated catastrophic
Change #1: Pre-existing Injuries and the Minor Injury Guideline
The first major change is an alteration to the Minor Injury Guideline. When you are placed in the Minor Injury Guideline, it means you will be given no more than $3,500 to recuperate from your injuries. With many injuries, you want to avoid the Minor Injury Guideline because $3,500 is not enough to help you fully recover. Previously, if you already had an injury that prevented you from reaching maximum recovery, then the Minor Injury Guideline (including the $3,500 insurance benefit limit) would no longer apply. Under the updated regulations, if your doctor has not recorded that you already had a pre-existing injury in your file before your accident then you are stuck in the Minor Injury Guideline. These changes will have a negative impact on those who do not have a doctor or did not make a visit to their doctor, before their accident.
Change #2: Attendant Care
Family members often choose to stay at home to take care of an injured loved one. This will become difficult to do under the new changes. In the updated regulations, if the care provider is not working in their ordinary employment, then the attendant care benefit will not be more than the economic loss directly sustained while providing care. Overall, more and more families will have to return to work and have their loved ones taken care of by healthcare professionals.
Change #3: Election of Benefits and Catastrophic Injuries
Our health changes over time. The goal is that you will heal after your injuries, but sometimes we, unfortunately, get worse. Previously, if your injuries became catastrophic, then you could have your caregiver benefits updated within 30 days. Under the new regulations, the election of benefits is final regardless of any changes. This hurts personal injury victims by not allowing their benefits to accurately represent their injuries.
Learn more by watching Brenda Hollingsworth discuss the changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits on CTV Ottawa Morning with host Lianne Laing.
Have questions about how these new regulations will impact your personal injury claim? Call a personal injury lawyer such as Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-4529 to book a free, no-obligation consultation.