Money compensation from ICBC and other insurance companies for pain and suffering should be dictated by the amount claimants are able to obtain under the law. In this car accident case the personal injury claimant was driving along Jacklin Road near Sooke Road in Victoria, B.C. when another car struck her right rear section while exiting a parking lot (Kristiansen v. Grewal,2014 BCSC 623).
The claimant was found to be very credible and suffered from nausea, headaches, neck pain and restriction in rotation, shoulder pain and shoulder blade pain on her left side, lower back pain,  chronic pain, and posttraumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).
The Judge eloquently summed up the purpose and basis for quantifying an award for pain and suffering in personal injury cases:

[122]     Non-pecuniary or general damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of amenities. The compensation awarded should be fair and reasonable to both parties. Fairness is measured against awards made in comparable cases. Such cases, though helpful, serve only as a rough guide. Each case depends on its own unique facts: Trites v. Penner, 2010 BCSC 882 at paras. 188-189.

 In awarding $140,000 to the claimant for pain and suffering the judge specifically rejected her claim for her psychological complaints occurring almost two years after the accident. Judge Romilly agreed with the defendants’ submission that the reasons for the “breakdown”  were  increased responsibility, work-related stresses, and long hours that came with a  Branch Manager position.  The claimant’s psychological injuries were simply not reasonably foreseeable and therefore not related to the accident.
The claims for loss of income and loss of earning capacity were also dismissed as the judge found her time off work was due to her bipolar disorder which was not caused by the accident. The awarded can be summarized as follows:

Pain and Suffering: $140,000.00
Cost of future care: $  2,500.00
Loss of housekeeping capacity: $ 23,000.00
Out of pocket expenses: $ 19,753.77
TOTAL: $185,253.7

To learn more about how to value pain and suffering in BC personal injury cases check out my summary and the many other articles related to the topic.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

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