The injury claimant in this personal injury case had the misfortune of being involved in two motor vehicle accidents (Chalmers v. Russell). In the first accident the claimant was driving on Dollarton Highway. She had stopped at a red traffic light and then once the light turned green, was accelerating forward and passed under an overpass that was leading from Highway 1. and that in a split the second a car appeared in front of her from the off-ramp. She looked to perhaps avoid the car by moving into the opposing lane, but saw a big truck coming at her. She honked her horn, braked and then her vehicle collided with the vehicle she said suddenly appeared in front of her.
Almost three years later the second accident occurred. the claimant was driving a pick-up truck and was travelling westbound on Keith Road in North Vancouver. She was in the right-hand curb lane as she was driving through an intersection with Mountain Highway, when a car turning left collided with her vehicle. The claimant is suing for damages in relation to the injuries she says she sustained in the two accidents.
One of the issues at trial was who was at fault for the first accident. Another significant issue was whether the claimant suffered injuries which impaired her ability to work, both prior to trial and in the future.
She claims the following categories of damages: past wage loss; loss of future earning capacity; non-pecuniary damages for her pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life; and special damages.
The court found that there is a real possibility that the injury claimant would have suffered some occasional pain due to her childcare responsibilities even absent the two accidents. Nevertheless the judge found that the motor vehicle accidents created new and more severe symptoms that impeded her ability to enjoy physical activities, her time with her children and her husband, and her job. The judge concluded:
“ As for the non pecuniary damages, I accept the plaintiff’s submission that these are indivisible and should be awarded jointly and severally as against all the defendants: see Bradley v. Groves, 2010 BCCA 361 at para. 32.”
The injury claimant was awarded $50,000 for pain and suffering as well as $3,766.95 as the cost of reimbursing her sick day bank and out of pocket expenses of $1,737.50. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness