The Alberta Government recently enacted changes to the Minor Injury Regulation. These changes will take effect for all motor vehicle accidents in Alberta that occur after June 1, 2018.
The two main changes included in these amendments are:
- Temporomandibular jaw (“TMJ”) injuries can now be caught by the Minor Injury Regulations. However, TMJ injuries involving injury to bone or teeth or damage or displacement of the articular disc, do not fall under the Cap.
- The Minor Injury Cap will now apply to psychological injuries associated with whiplash disorders. This includes those which heal along with the whiplash disorder.
Temporomandibular Jaw (TMJ) Injuries in Alberta:
Prior to the Government’s amendment to the Minor Injury Cap, TMJ injuries did not fall under the Minor Injury Cap. Under this new amendment, mild TMJ injuries that don’t involve damage to teeth or bones in the jaw, or damage to the articular disc will now be capped. Damage or displacement of the articular disc is usually noticed when a person’s jaw makes a clicking sound (This sound is caused by the articular disc sliding back into place after being displaced.) It is likely that TMJ injury that involves a clicking sound in the jaw will not fall under the Minor Injury Cap. Mild jaw pain that resolves quickly and with minimal treatment will now be capped.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have questions about the Minor Injury Cap in Alberta, Ahlstrom Wright is here.
Ahlstrom Wright has offices in Sherwood Park, AB and Yellowknife, NWT
Psychological Injuries in Alberta:
Can you claim for psychological injury?
The regulations regarding psychological injuries state that only the least severe conditions will be capped. For instance, if a person develops mild depression or anxiety from a whiplash injury. If the symptoms of depression and anxiety resolve when whiplash injury has healed, the mild depression and anxiety will be capped. However, psychological injuries that persist for an extended period of time, and/or psychological conditions that do not resolve when the physical injuries heal would not be capped.
It is important to note that these amendments do not apply to accidents that occurred before June 1, 2018. For all accidents prior to June 1, 2018, the old rules would still apply. This means TMJ injuries would fall outside of the Minor Injury Cap. Similarly, psychological conditions arising from car accidents prior to June 1, 2018 would not be capped.
How do I know if my minor injury claim capped?
The law surrounding minor injuries in Alberta motor vehicle accidents is constantly changing, however, Ahlstrom Wright is here to help. If you have a question about the Minor Injury Cap, please call one of Ahlstrom Wright’s personal injury lawyers.