This personal injury case involved four car accidents for which liability was admitted(Demidas v. Poinen, 2012 BCSC 416). The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), on behalf of the defendants, said that the injury claimant was an unreliable witness and deliberately exaggerated his claims.  In each of his ICBC statements following the four accidents, he listed numerous complaints that he did not subsequently report to his doctor.
Accident #1 he  said he suffered injury to his neck, upper back, lower back, buttocks, both shoulders, left arm, right arm, both hips, and both knees. The claimant said he was also experiencing trouble sleeping, nausea, fear of driving, headaches, and pain and numbness down the back of his left leg.
Accident #2 – The claimant said he suffered injury to neck, upper back, mid back, lower back, buttocks, both shoulders, both arms, both hands, abdomen, both legs and a both knees.  He said he was also experiencing shock, ringing in his ears, trouble breathing, fear of driving, trouble sleeping and “I am scared”.
Accident #3 – The claimant said he suffered injury to his neck, whole back, buttocks, shoulders, arms, chest, hips and knees.  He said he was also experiencing pain down the back of both legs, tingling and numbness in both hands, tingling in his feet, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing, poor memory, poor balance, difficulty concentrating, and fear of driving.
Accident #4 – The claimant  said he suffered injury to his neck, whole back, both shoulders, both arms, chest, buttocks, right knee, left knee, both legs.  He said he was also experiencing headaches, shock, dizziness, buzzing in his ears, pain and numbness into both legs, trouble sleeping, nervous when driving, anxiety, trouble concentrating and “am depressed”.
However, the court found the claimant to be  a straightforward witness.  “His list of symptoms given in his initial statement is indeed a veritable “shopping list” as defendants’ counsel says, but his reports to his doctor were limited to pain in his neck and right shoulder blade and lower back, which has persisted to this day”. With respect to the award of damages the Judge was quick to point out that,

[55] The effect of the accidents is cumulative, each one exacerbating the symptoms that remained from the previous one to a collective whole.  Therefore it is not appropriate to simply take one figure and multiply it by four as the defendant suggests…

Although each accident was fairly minor, the recurrence of accidents contributed to Mr. Demidas’ ongoing symptoms.  However, those symptoms are not as severe as those in the cases cited to me by the plaintiff.  Considering the authorities presented to me, the injuries sustained in the four accidents, and adjusting the amount for the effects of the at-fault accident, I set non-pecuniary damages at $45,000.

The court awarded the injury claimant the following:

Pain and Suffering $45,000.00
Past wage loss $10,792.00
Loss of future capacity $20,000.00
Cost of future care $  3,000.00
Out of Pocket Expenses $  7,847.36

Posted by Personal injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness B.A. LL.B.

Leave a Reply

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

Post comment