MIG Update – January 25, 2021
Head injuries, such as concussion and post-concussive syndrome, if established, fall outside the MIG. In this week’s edition, we report on two similar fact situations where both Applicants reportedly complained of headaches to their family doctors one month post-accident.
The distinction being the presence or absence of corroborating objective evidence.
Factor: Concussion – Considerations for a MIG Escape
In P.S.v Wawanesa (19-003983), a MIG ‘escape’ ruling, P.S.’s vehicle was hit by a car on the passenger side. He did not lose consciousness but reportedly immediately felt pain on the right side of his body and in his head. He visited his family physician complaining of headaches, neck pain and neurocognitive symptoms one month post-accident, with objective testing leading to a diagnosis of concussion.
The Tribunal held that P.S. sustained concussion and ongoing concussion-related injuries that remove him from the MIG:
- A Sport Concussion Assessment Test – 3rd Edition (“SCAT3”) was performed by the family doctor, indicating a concussion
- Ongoing pain and headaches were noted by the family doctor as well as the IE assessor
- No loss of consciousness and a normal brain CT scan do not negate the diagnosis of concussion through the SCAT3 test
In P.S. v Wawanesa (18-008980), a MIG ‘hold’ ruling, P.S.’s vehicle was stopped at a red light when the impact of a collision sent one of the vehicles into P.S.’s vehicle. P.S. submitted that someone does not have to hit their head on an object to experience a concussion and that he was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome by his family doctor.
The Tribunal held that P.S. did not suffer from a head injury or post-concussive syndrome:
- Records from the ER on the date of the accident indicate no complaint of any head injury or concussion
- The only complaint of symptoms of post-concussive syndrome was not until one month post-accident to the family doctor
- P.S.’s neurologist did not find any accident-related head injury 6 months post-accident. Instead, P.S. reported only an exacerbation of pre-existing headaches
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