What is an Assessment by Certified Examiner and how could it affect you?
An Assessment by a Certified Examiner is a specific type of assessment performed for the purpose of determining whether your injuries from a motor vehicle accident are considered “minor” or not. If your injuries are considered minor, the Minor Injury Regulation would apply and result in a “cap” on how much you can recover in general damages, which we discuss in a previous blog (the Cap) post here.
The result from the assessment is what is known as “prima facie evidence”, meaning it would be considered sufficient evidence to be established as fact. For example, if the results of the assessment find that your injuries were minor, this would be accepted at trial as evidence that your injuries were minor. It is still possible to rebut this with your own evidence to show that your injuries were not minor, but it would be very difficult and potentially costly to do so.
When and why would you have to attend a Certified Medical Assessment?
The Minor Injury Regulation states that if there is a disagreement as to whether your injuries are minor or not, either party may request an Assessment by Certified Examiner. This means that you, the lawyer acting for you, or the insurance adjuster, may request this assessment.
Who is the Certified Examiner?
There is a short list of physicians and dentists that are certified in Alberta to perform these assessments, appropriately called the Certified Examiners Register. When one of the parties requests an Assessment by Certified Examiner, they also propose the Certified Examiner they wish to perform the assessment. The other party can either accept this or propose their own Certified Examiner. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement on a Certified Examiner, either party can apply to have the Superintendent of Insurance select a Certified Examiner which cannot be one of the two already proposed.
Do I have to go to the Assessment by Certified Examiner?
While you cannot be forced to go, not going or not cooperating would negatively affect you and your claim. The Minor Injury Regulation states that unless you have a reasonable excuse, failing to attend the Assessment or failing to answer the questions of the Certified Examiner would automatically result in your injury being considered minor. If you have been injured in accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your situation and options.
The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Moustarah & Company does not guarantee that this information is accurate or up to date. As a result, should you require legal advice, please contact a personal injury lawyer.