Court Awards | Financial Settlements re Personal Injury & Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in BC
BC Courts & Judgements on Personal Injury Cases: What's happening in the courts re financial settlements?
This section contains selected sample case summaries from BC Courts' awards to plaintiffs in personal injury cases
in 2003. Information includes dollar amounts awarded for: "pain and suffering"
and "loss of future earning capacity" -
| Moderate Brain Injury Case
| Loss of Future Earnings
| 72 year old man
| pre-existing medical condition accelerated
| medical condition discovered 3 years post MVA
| 15 year old plaintiff - slip & fall accident claim |
| "Minimal Vehicle Damage" as a factor |
BC Courts Judges have
number of motor vehicle accident cases in
and fall of 2003.
The case of a 54
year old woman who had suffered a moderate traumatic
brain injury was considered.
Other decisions of note in motor vehicle accident cases included the following:
- A 50 year old man was awarded $60,000 for pain and suffering
and $100,000 for loss of future earnings after suffering a badly
fractured right knee in a motor vehicle accident. At trial, 6 years
after the accident, he was continuing to experience discomfort
with driving, sitting and walking and it was expected that his condition
would deteriorate. He also suffered low back pain because
of the change in his gait and had suffered a moderately
severe soft tissue injury to his neck which continued to cause
A 72 year old man was awarded
$70,000 for pain and suffering
and $25,000 for future loss of
earning capacity after suffering a
serious neck fracture that required surgery and a long period
of painful convalescence. At the trial date, 7 years after the accident,
he continued to suffer from pain and there was little hope of
any long term resolution to his pain.
- A Judge found that a 36 year old man's cystic fibrosis was accelerated as a result of a knee injury
sustained in a motor vehicle accident which prevented him from continuing his very vigorous cycling regime which was meant to
treat his cystic fibrosis. The man also suffered a significant neck
and back soft tissue injury. The Judge awarded $175,000 for pain
and suffering and $75,000 for loss of earning capacity.
A female plaintiff was awarded $40,000 for pain and suffering and
$40,000 for loss of earning capacity after being injured in 2 motor
vehicle accidents, the first occurring 3 ½ years prior to trial. At
the time of trial, the Plaintiff was continuing to suffer from her
injuries to her lower back, shoulder,
neck and left leg and it was likely that she would continue to suffer
a minor disability due to these injuries.
A 31 year old plaintiff was awarded $40,000 for pain and suf
fering. The Judge found that the Plaintiff suffered an injury to her
jaw, left thumb and wrist, which resolved in one month. She had a
soft tissue injury to her neck, which largely resolved within two
years although she continued to suffer from stiffness in her neck
and occasional headaches. The
most serious injury was a soft tissue injury to her low back. 4
years after the motor vehicle accident the plaintiff continued to
experience a fairly constant dull low back ache which intensified with
activities of daily living and the headaches and back pain interfered
with her ability to sleep, resulting in fatigue.
A plaintiff was awarded $30,000
for pain and suffering after a judge found that there was an
80% likelihood that the plaintiff would continue to suffer ongoing
neck difficulties in the future. At the trial date, 18 months after the
accident, the plaintiff was experiencing intermittent neck pain and
stiffness. Additionally the plain tiff had suffered knee and chest
wall pain, which resolved within a few weeks of the motor vehicle
accident and wrist pain that lasted longer than a month.
A judge found that a disc herniation that was discovered three
years after a motor vehicle accident was related to the accident.
The plaintiff underwent surgery
to treat the disc herniation. He
awarded the 51 year old plaintiff
$100,000 for pain and suffering,
finding that the plaintiff's enjoyment of life and his ability to
work pain free were seriously
negatively impacted by the injury.
The judge also found that the
plaintiff would suffer an ongoing loss of $62,000 per year for the
remaining years of his working life.
A 15 year old suffered a serious
knee injury in a slip and fall accident and a Judge awarded him
$100,000 for pain and suffering,
$150,000 for loss of earning capacity and $50,000 for
and future loss of housekeeping
capacity. As a result of the fall, he
suffered a full thickness articular
fracture of the cartilage of the
right femur, a grade IV fracture to
the patella, a tibial fracture and a
crush fracture of the lateral meniscus. He had already undergone
two surgeries, his condition was
considered to be progressive and
it was probable that he would require further surgeries, including
a total knee replacement.
- [Case with minimal damage to vehicle as a factor in assessing compensation for personal injury claim]
Brar v. Johal -- The Plaintiff was involved in a rear-end collision in December 1998. Liability
was admitted and the court was asked to assess damages for his injuries.
counsel was contending, not that there was no potential for injury, but rather that the
fact there was no damage to one vehicle and only minimal damage to the other should
be considered when assessing the quantum of the Plaintiff's claim. Defence counsel
however tendered no medical or engineering evidence to support the proposition that
the injuries alleged by the Plaintiff were inconsistent with the force generated in the
accident. Evidence showed that the Plaintiff suffered mild to moderate soft tissue injuries
to the neck and back, that his neck and upper back pain and stiffness resolved very
quickly following the accident, that he experienced intermittent pain and minimal discomfort
in his low back from the time of his returned to work in late January 1999 until
approximately the fall of 2000, and his injuries had completely resolved by the date
The court assessed non-pecuniary damages at $15,000, a further $4,744 for
wage loss and $236 for special damages.
- See Also
map of Downtown Vancouver for location of BC Supreme Court Building, where many of the above judgements were made .
Rose Keith, Barrister & Solicitor author of the above article is a content contributor to
Her practice in Vancouver focuses primarily on the areas of Personal Injury Law (as a plaintiff's lawyer) and BC Employment / Contract Disputes
where she represents both employees and employers.
A detailed profile of Rose is available on this site click here
A detailed street map to her offices in downtown Vancouver showing her location and its proximity to the Provincial and Supreme Court buildings is available click here
See also her web site at www.rosekeith.bc.ca
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