Since the decision of the BC Court of Appeal in Bradley v. Groves, 2010 BCCA 361, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, 2011 CarswellBC 890, it has been much easier for the court to make decisions involving multiple car accidents.  In this personal injury case the injury claimant suffered injuries in four car accidents and claims against ICBC for pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of homemaking capacity. As the judge rightly pointed out, 

“[68]  The defendant ICBC agrees the appropriate approach to the assessment of damages in this case is that set out by our Court of Appeal in Bradley v. Groves, 2010 BCCA 361, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, 2011 CarswellBC 890.  The defendant ICBC agrees the injuries following the first accident are indivisible from those sustained in the other accidents:  that is, it is appropriate to assess damages globally, not apportion them between the various accidents.

[69]  While there are five named defendants other than ICBC, the damages alleged result from motor vehicle accidents and will be assessed globally.  I will therefore refer to ICBC as the defendant in this case.”

The third accident was a hit and run and ICBC was denying this claim and alleging that the injury claimant failed to make efforts to find the other driver and owner. In denying this defence the court stated,

“[78]  In the present case, Mr. Singh might have been able to take down the licence plate number of the offending vehicle if he had done so immediately.  However, he did not expect the vehicle to leave the scene of the accident.  Once it became clear that the vehicle was not going to stop, his wife made an effort to write the number down, but only got two of the letters.  Following the accident Mr. Singh took all reasonable steps to ascertain the identity of the driver.  He spoke to two witnesses, he telephoned ICBC, attended the police, phoned his lawyer to obtain advice as to how to proceed, and, as a result, put up flyers seeking witnesses.”

The judge found that the claimant suffered a thoracic outlet syndrome which causes him difficulty holding his hands above his head, causes his left arm and shoulder to go numb and this injury affects him both at work and at home.  The judge was also satisfied that there is a real and substantial possibility the injury claimant may lose his job at some time during his lifetime due to the injury. The total award was as follows:

Pain and suffering $  65,000.00
Loss of future earnings $  40,000.00
Past loss of income $  616.00
Loss of housekeeping capacity $ 5,000.00
Cost of future care                                      $600.00
TOTAL $111,216.00

Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment