This ICBC claimant was injured in a rear ender when driving on Boundary Road in Vancouver. When traffic came to a stop the claimant was rearended by a pick-up truck pushing her car about two car lengths into a van that had previously stopped in front of her.

Immediately she experienced pain in her right leg, left shoulder, and right knee.  Soon after, she experienced a number of symptoms including headaches, neck pain, and low back pain, as well as continued right knee and left shoulder pain.  Her hip, knee and lower back pain eventually resolved but her headaches, neck and left shoulder pain persisted.  At the time of trial, the claimant was diagnosed with chronic pain disorder, a depression disorder and generalized anxiety symptoms.

ICBC admitted liability for the car accident and the main issue at trial was quantum. The claimant sought an award of $180,000 for pain,suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (non-pecuniary damages).  ICBC submitted that the claimant ought to be awarded no more than $90,000 for pain and suffering.

Counsel for the claimants argued the correct range was $150,000 to $200,000 for this type of rear-end accident injury. ICBC claimed that in a car accident comparable cases range from $80,000 to $95,000.  In awarding $95,000 under this heading the judge commented:

[59]  I have considered each of the above factors in light of the circumstances before me.  In doing so, I have taken into account not only the injuries caused by the accident itself but also those injuries that have persisted since the accident.  As well, I have considered the manner in which Ms. Jamal’s overall health and lifestyle has been impaired as a result of the accident.  The evidence establishes that Ms. Jamal has suffered both physically and emotionally for a number of years as a result of the accident.  She is not able to work full-time in her chosen vocation, and she has developed a moderately severe chronic pain disorder, a depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder.  While colitis was not caused by the accident, it has been exacerbated by her chronic pain.  In addition, Ms. Jamal has not been able to resume the active lifestyle she enjoyed prior to the collision, and she has suffered some cognitive impairment such as memory loss and lack of concentration which she attributes to her “flare-ups” or her chronic pain.  Ms. Jamal’s relationship with her children has also been negatively impacted due to her persistent pain.  In this light, and after reviewing the cases cited by counsel for both parties, I am of the view that the appropriate amount of non-pecuniary damages in this case is $95,000.( click here for Jamal v. Kemery-Higgins,2017 BCSC 213)

The total award in this ICBC case example can be summarized :

Pain and Suffering $95,000.00
Past Earning Capacity $125,000.00
Future Earning Capacity $358,337.08
Future Care – One Time Costs $15,379.00
Future Care – Ongoing Costs $57,929.50
Out of Pocket Expenses $16,014.70
Total: $667,660.28

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

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