In this two car accident  low back personal injury lawsuit(Doho v. Melnikova,2011 BCSC 703) the main issues that led this ICBC case to not settle were: loss of opportunity to earn past income; reduction of  the injury claimant’s future earning capacity; ICBCs’ allegation that the claimant  failed to mitigate his loss; and the ICBC claim that the injuries did not impact the claimant’s earning capacity. ICBC admitted fault on behalf of the other drivers for the accidents in question.
Just as the injury claimant was about to move from TD Canada Trust to another company he was involved in the first of two car accidents. In the first car accident the injury claimant was driving a full size SUV on a slushy highway and the  other driver  was in an Audi sedan. She approached the claimant’s vehicle from behind and hit its rear bumper. The impact knocked the claimant’s truck out of control. It spun clockwise and rammed into a concrete barrier at the road side. The truck sustained heavy damage to its front end and less extensive damage to its rear end.
In the second car accident the injury claimant was driving his SUV and he came to a stop at an intersection. A small pickup truck following behind lightly rear ended the claimant’s SUV.  The damage to the claimant’s truck was a small dent on its rear bumper; the damage cost only $800 to repair.
This personal injury case the judge found staring at para 38 that,

“The first accident caused a significant injury to Mr. Doho’s[injury claimant’s] lower back. He sustained a disk hernia at the L4-5 level of his spine. That hernia impinged on his spinal nerves and caused him severe pain for the first three or four months after the accident. He also suffered from headaches and a sore neck. Those latter symptoms resolved by three months after the accident. Mr. Doho’s leg pains dissipated by approximately four months after the accident, but he was left with ongoing low back discomfort. His pain is increased by lifting, playing sports such as golf, standing or sitting for lengthy periods of time. Because surgery is not an option at this point, I have concluded that Mr. Doho’s condition is permanent.

I find that Mr. Doho’s non-pecuniary damages arising out of the November 2006 accident should be assessed at $80,000.

The second accident caused Mr. Doho to suffer a significant increase in his pain. The acute phase of that increase lasted about two days, and was resolved within a week. After that, Mr.Doho’s pain and limitation of function returned to its pre-second-accident level. I assess his non-pecuniary damages arising out of the March 2009 accident at $5,000…”

The injury claimant was awarded:

First Car  Accident
  Pain and Suffering $80,000
  Past loss of income  
  Year 1 $121,000
  Year 2 $20,000
  Year 3 $20,000
  Year 4 $20,000
  Reduction of earning capacity $20,000
Second Car Accident
  Pain and Suffering $5,000

Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness

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