The Alberta Government recently enacted changes to the Minor Injury Regulation which will take effect for all motor vehicles accidents in Alberta that occur after June 1, 2018.
The two main changes included in these amendments are:
- Temporomandibular jaw (“TMJ”) injuries are now potentially caught by the Minor Injury Regulations. The only TMJ injuries that do not fall under the Cap are those involving injury to bone or teeth, or damage or displacement of the articular disc.
- The Minor Injury Cap will now apply to psychological injuries associated with whiplash disorders, and 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 (the clicking 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.
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident?
If you 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:
In terms of psychological injuries, only the least severe conditions will be capped. For example, mild depression or anxiety that arises from a whiplash injury and which resolves once the whiplash injury is healed will now be capped. 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, and 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.
The law surrounding minor injuries in Alberta motor vehicle accidents is constantly changing. If you have question about the Minor Injury Cap, please call one of Ahlstrom Wright’s personal injury lawyers.