The court awarded more than $300,000.00 to this heavy duty mechanic that suffered  injuries in two car accidents (Hong v. Wagner,2014 BCSC 373). Despite  considerable concern surrounding the reliability and credibility of the claimant’s testimony the medical evidence established that the claimant has a permanent partial disability and will suffer from shoulder pain in the future.
In the first accident the claimant was a passenger travelling to a lake some distance outside of Princeton, BC, on a remote gravel road when the pick-up truck hit an embankment and rolled over. He suffered significant pain in his right shoulder, left ribs and the back of his right hand and his shoulder pain has never gone away.
The second accident was about a year later in Vancouver. The claimant was stopped at a red light when his vehicle was rear-ended. He injured his neck and missed one day of work. The pain in his neck resolved in approximately two months.
Personal injury lawyers will be interested to know that in awarding $170,000 for loss of future earning capacity the judge premised the award on the annual loss the claimant would suffer if he was restricted to employment as an auto mechanic.  This assessment was approximately equivalent to two years’ salary as a heavy duty mechanic which the judge found to be a reasonable assessment.
In receiving $85,000 as the value of  pain and suffering for his injury the claimant was found to be able to return to being almost as active as he once was, both in his recreation and domestically. The claimant admitted he still was able to shoot two deer and a bear after the work place incident, as well as ride his ATV and motorcycle. The claimant also does not need any significant medication to control his pain, relying on rest, ice and Advil.
The claimant may well have received a higher award had the judge not found that he exaggerated the extent of the work place aggravation of his injuries . In reaching this conclusion the judge quoted Halloran J.A. in Faryna v. Chorny, [1952] 2 D.L.R. 354 (B.C.C.A.) at para. 11:

The test must reasonably subject his story to an examination of its consistency with the probabilities that surround the currently existing conditions. In short, the real test of the truth of the story of a witness … must be its harmony with the preponderance of the probabilities which a practical and informed person would readily recognize as reasonable in that place and in those conditions.  

 The personal injury award for the shoulder injury is summarized as follows:

Pain and Suffering 85,000.00
Loss of past earning capacity 50,791.00
Loss of future earning capacity 170,000.00
Cost of future care 10,600.00
Out of Pocket Expenses 6,779.23
               TOTAL $323,170.23

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

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