In this unique factual scenario, the BC Supreme Court found that the car accident, which occurred on King George Highway in Surrey, was caused by a car rear ending the injury claimant. However the injury claimant that was rear ended still faced some responsibility(Stanikzai v. Bola, 2012 BCSC 846) because he failed to see the other driver’s turn signal.
The Judge found  that the defendant, in changing lanes, failed to notice or properly assess the position of other vehicles and failed to ensure that she had sufficient room to change lanes safely.  Because it was the defendant who created the dangerous situation, the Judge found she must bear the greater share of blame and apportioned liability 75 per cent to the defendant and 25 per cent to the injury claimant.
In assessing compensation for pain and suffering the Judge observed that the injury claimant experienced and will continue to experience low back pain. However, the claimant remains able to do a variety of day-to-day tasks, but is restricted from more strenuous activities, including his former recreational activities.  If the Judge had not found the claimant to have been at significant risk for back problems, Judge Smith would have assessed non-pecuniary damages (pain and suffering) at $100,000. In recognition of that risk, the Judge applied a 15 per cent reduction and assessed  non-pecuniary damages at $85,000.
The claimant’s total personal injury award amounted to the following:

Pain and Suffering $ 85,000
Past Income loss $ 10,000
Loss of Future Earning Capacity $125,000
Cost of Future Care $ 31,000
Out of pocket expenses $    2,000
subtotal $253,000
Less contributory negligence @ 25 per cent ($63,250)
Total $189,750

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