November 29, 2012- ICBC car accident injury cases should always provide money for pain and suffering if the jury finds that the injury claimant cannot work. Injury claimants without an injury lawyer may be unaware that they have a money claim for pain and suffering.
Three Judges of the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial after a jury awarded the the injury claimant $1,000 for out-of-pocket expenses and nothing for pain and suffering nor cost of future care. With complete disagreement the Honourable Mr. Justice Mackenzie stated:
“It is illogical to conclude that [an injury claimant]was injured and suffered out of pocket expenses but did not sustain any pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment, however transitory, as a result of the injury. The finding of injury and the award for special damages cannot be reconciled. Without any award for non-pecuniary damages, the answers present a clear conflict.”( Balla v. I.C.B.C.,2001 BCCA 062; followed by Banks v. Shrigley, 2001 BCCA 232)
This reaffirms that an award for pain and suffering must follow a finding of injury and an award of loss of earnings or out of pocket expenses due to injury. In Evans v. Metcalfe the Court of Appeal overturned a juries award of only $1,000 for pain and suffering stating:
 In my respectful opinion, these findings of the jury as reflected in their pecuniary awards make the award for non-pecuniary damages very anomalous. It is not impossible that the jury may have taken a quite censorious view of the appellant because of her economic circumstances or because of her conduct in importuning the physician to give her a note in aid of possible financial advantage. These would not be judicious reasons for denying her an appropriate award of non-pecuniary damages. As I observed, there was a body of credible evidence that would support an award under this head significantly greater than the amount awarded at trial. While there can be considerable variance in awards made under this head as the cases cited to us demonstrate, this award seems almost derisory.
 Generally this Court must be very restrained in any interference with a jury disposition as a consistent body of precedent makes plain. However, I have been persuaded that this is one of those rare cases where the interests of justice make intervention appropriate. The degree of anomaly in the respective awards, coupled with a very real possibility of the triers of fact taking an unduly severe view of the appellant’s conduct unrelated to her physical condition persuade me that the award made by the jury for non-pecuniary damages cannot stand.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr.Renn A. Holness
Issue: Can a person suffer an injury without any pain and suffering?