The personal injury claimant was alone in her vehicle in Maple Ridge when the car following behind failed to stop in time and collided with the rear of the claimant’s vehicle. At the time, the claimant was 56 years old and employed as a bartender-server at a bowling alley.The claimant said that the effects of her injuries forced her to leave her work and find part-time work as a cashier at a supermarket instead (McCagherty v. Camps,2016 BCSC 1974).

As for the magnitude of the accident, she described the impact as substantial. The judge noted that the damage to her car was in the order of $3,500 ( which means nothing on its own)

The claimant said that the accident caused her body to move back and forth quite forcefully. She described feeling nervous, upset and “shaken up”. Emergency personnel attended, including police, ambulance and a tow truck.  She actually went to work her afternoon shift at the bowling alley. She testified that, as the day progressed, she began to feel headache and stiffness. By the end of the shift she was tired, and had a sore neck and back.   In addition to the physical discomfort which has resulted the claimant said that her enjoyment of life had been markedly diminished in a number of ways.

The defendant’s position was that the car accident only caused mild to moderate symptoms. The defendant also argued the relevance of the claimant continuing to work full time without interruption for almost five months following the incident.

As regards quantum, the insurer for the defendant, argued that the appropriate range should be between $35,000 and $55,000.

The judge found that the appropriate award of damages for pain and suffering to be $70,000.

In making that decision, I take into account the substantial disruption to her life and activities which I described earlier, along with the physical discomfort and psychological effects of the accident. I also accept that the effects will continue into the future for [the claimant] Finally, the matter of the diminished housekeeping capacity is a factor that has been considered.

The total award can be summarized as follows:

Pain and Suffering: $70,000
Past Wage Loss: $55,000
Loss of Future Earning Capacity: $65,000
Cost of Future Care: $40,000
Out of Pocket Expenses: $1,122.70
Total: $231,122.70

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

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