Psychological Injury

Topic: Psychological Injury

The case reviews ON Minor Injury Guidelines to determine whether the claimant is entitled to Statutory Accident Benefits.

Psychological injuries, if established, fall outside the MIG, because such impairments are not included in the prescribed definition of “minor injuries.” 

This claim was not accepted for a number of reasons.  The applicant had not demonstrated on a balance of probabilities that he suffered a psychological impairment as a result of the subject accident.  The reasons are noted below:

Timing of Diagnosis:

The applicant reported feelings of anxiety, depression, nervousness when driving, difficulty sleeping, and poor concentration to Dr. A. almost a year after the accident.

The lack of significant reports of psychological symptoms for about 11 months after the accident raised doubts about a direct causal link between the accident and psychological impairment.

 Medical Records:

Dr. A’s records from December 22, 2020, indicated that the applicant’s anxiety and depression resulted from a motor vehicle accident in January 2017, with no mention of the subject accident which is Nov 7, 2019. Medical records from May 27 and June 2, 2020, noted anxiety and ongoing nervousness but did not clearly attribute these symptoms to the subject accident.

Interpretation of Medical Records:

Discrepancies arose in the interpretation of the term “h/o MVA” (history of motor vehicle accident) in Dr. A’s records. The respondent argued that it referred to a head-on collision in January 2017, while the applicant suggested it might also refer to the subject accident. The lack of clarity in the medical records made it challenging to attribute anxiety and depression specifically to the subject accident.

 Consultation with Dr. K:

The applicant’s consultation with Dr. K. in March 2022, more than two years after the subject accident, resulted in a diagnosis of an adjustment disorder. However, this diagnosis was based solely on the applicant’s self-reporting, and no psychological testing or review of medical documents was conducted.  The assessment did not consider records prior to the subject accident or in the intervening period between the accident and the assessment.

 Treatment Plan Submission:

A treatment plan submitted on July 3, 2020, almost eight months after the accident, mentioned symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, panic attacks, and anxiety attacks for the first time.  Since these symptoms were not reported in any other medical records during the relevant period, and no supporting objective evidence or testing was provided, the provisional diagnoses were given little weight.


Chiro completed a report in relation to the subject accident did not clearly reference psychological injuries. Instead, they listed injuries as sprain and strain injuries and “other sleep disorders,” providing minimal support for the applicant’s position.


In conclusion, the Court stated:

“I find that the applicant has not demonstrated on a balance of probabilities that he suffered a psychological impairment as a result of the subject accident that would take him out of the Minor Injury Guideline.”

The decision not to accept the psychological injury is based on the lack of clear and convincing evidence linking the psychological impairment to the subject accident. The timing of diagnosis, interpretation of medical records, and inconsistencies in reported symptoms contribute to the conclusion that the applicant has not sufficiently demonstrated a direct connection between the accident and the alleged psychological injuries.

ON LAT Case cite: