In order to save money, Alberta put a cap on the amount of money that can be awarded to an accident victim with a minor injury. It also specified the types of injuries that qualified as minor injuries, those that could quality a victim for an award.
Compensation for soft tissue injuries
Money that is meant to compensate for non-pecuniary damages has been capped. The list of injuries that qualify for an award got expanded in 2019.
Injuries compensated as of 2019
TMJ (temporomandibular joint disengagement): This is caused by pressure on the jaw bone, causing it to break. It can become disengaged during the healing process.
WAD (whiplash associated disorder): Multiple body functions can be affected by a whiplash injury. For that reason, the whiplashed victim develops a condition or a disorder.
Features common to TMJ and WAD
The victim must endure chronic pain. An attorney can help a client to record the frequency and intensity of that pain. That recorded information can serve as proof of the pain’s existence. The point of maximum medical improvement occurs many months after the accident. A smart lawyer fights any suggestion from the insurance company that there should be an early settlement.
Diagnosis of the condition may require extensive testing. The insurance company must be convinced for the need for any diagnostic test. There are times when coverage of TMJ or WAD gets denied.
What actions can a victim take if coverage is denied?
The government of Alberta has allowed victims to appeal such a denial. Victims that have chosen to appeal need to hire a good personal injury lawyer in Medicine Hat.
The granting of an appeal does not remove the cap on money for pain and suffering. For that reason, any victims that plan to appeal should seek legal guidance. During the appeal, the money not awarded to those with a minor injury can be sought in requests for other forms of compensation. A good attorney could seek money for lost wages. That might include the lost chance for a raise or the lost chance for training, which could qualify the trained employee for a raise.
A good lawyer would study the extent to which either disorder (TMJ or WAD) might diminish the employee’s ability to carry-out his or her assigned duties. Evidence of a loss of capabilities could be used as evidence for loss of future opportunities. A loss of future opportunities should translate into a demand for more money, as compensation for lost wages.
In other words, with a lawyer’s help, the victim with a soft tissue injury does not get deprived of a great deal of money. Instead, he or she stands to win the court’s approval of a generous award.