Road Rage

This claimant suffered serious injuries as a result of a road rage incident that began on the southerly on-ramp to the Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver, and ended at the top of what is known as “the Cut” on Highway #1, in North Vancouver. The claimant and defendant became involved in a dispute over who cut off whom at the on-ramp to the Bridge. (McCaffery v. Arguello, 2017 BCSC 1460)

The claimant testified that after both vehicles stopped he was kicked in the stomach and in the chest. The other driver followed with a baseball bat and struck the claimant on the head, causing a large gash, which bled profusely. As the claimant tried to fend him off, the defendant repeatedly hit him on the chest, his left elbow, and on his hand and wrist.

The judge concluded that the claimant suffered debilitating and disabling injuries which have had significant life-changing effects and that, as a result, he should be compensated with a substantial $200,000.00 award for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

In awarding the claimant $30,000 for punitive damages the judge said,

[125]     Mr. A’s decision to follow (the claimant’s) vehicle for five kilometres up the Upper Levels Highway, cut aggressively in front of it, slam on his brakes and cause a collision, and then to exit his vehicle with a baseball bat with which he repeatedly hit (the claimant), cannot be countenanced in civil society where hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads and encounter driving manoeuvres which upset or anger them. Road rage incidents are increasingly common in our busy lives and on our busy roads as drivers’ jockey for position. They cannot be tolerated.

The total personal injury award is summarized as follows:

a)    $200,000 in non-pecuniary damages for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life;

b)    $280,900 for loss of past earning capacity;

c)     $43,300 for loss of future earning capacity;

d)    $242,081 for loss of housekeeping or domestic capacity;

e)    $21,150.15 for out of pocket expenses;

f)      $1,585.25 for health care recovery costs; and

g)    $30,000 in punitive damages.

The total amount ordered was therefore: $819,016.40.

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

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