In this relatively minor personal injury case (Hunter v. Yuan) the claimant, represented by a car accident lawyer, was injured in an accident at the intersection of Berwicke Street and 3rd in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The injury claimant was waiting in line to turn left at the intersection and the light changed from green to amber, so she remained stationary. The other driver, a taxi driver, rear ended the claimant’s vehicle, causing minor damage to both vehicles. The insurance company lawyers pointed to the minor accident and contended that the injury claimant continued to lead a full and active life after the accident running a half marathon and taking several vacation and business trips to places such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, London, England, Costa Rica and Palm Springs. Dr. Dommisse was hired by the insurance company defending the claimant and he felt that the claimant’s present symptoms were not related to the car accident.
The court however found the injury claimant to be entirely credible. The judge said, “She did not seek to exaggerate, and gave her evidence in a very direct manner. She was responsive to questions, and did not seek to avoid or be defensive with the tough questions posed on cross-examination. I certainly accept her evidence with regard to her symptoms, past and present. ” Personal injury lawyers in British Columbia are often confronted with these attacks on credibility which claimants without lawyers are unable to respond to effectively.
The injury claimant’s pain was not found to be chronic and continuous, but she suffers pain and increased pain with certain kinds of exertion. It was four years since the accident occurred and the claimant continued to have pain in her shoulders, particularly her upper right back, and neck. Ordinary daily activities such as carrying groceries, doing the laundry, vacuuming, and certain types of cleaning cause flare-ups, which result in pain.
The injury claimant was awarded the following:
|Pain and suffering||$35,000.00|
|Cost of future care||3,500.00|
|out of pocket expenses||8,363.54|
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should an injury claimant’s vacations and business trips after a car accident be used against them?