This Christmas story involves four motor vehicle accidents all occurring within 2.5 years.  In a previous accident the claimant also sustained a serious brain injury. To make it more jolly, between the third and fourth accidents in issue, he was involved in two additional accidents. (Lamb v. Fullerton, 2016 BCSC 1694)

Claims were made for pain and suffering, past and future loss of income earning capacity, and cost of future care, as well as special damages.

This ICBC claimant went on a long motorcycle ride on Christmas Day, two weeks after his second car accident.  A month after the second accident he told an ICBC adjuster that his shoulder symptoms were resolved and that while he had injured his knee in the second car accident, his knee was feeling better just prior to the third accident.

[97]  …I accept that, given the fall and slide across the road, it is more likely than not that Mr. Lamb again suffered some abrasions, bruising and aches and pains.  However, he lost little, if any, time from work, and by Christmas, less than three weeks after the accident, he was well enough to go on a long motorcycle ride.  By January 25… when he met with the ICBC adjuster, he was largely recovered.  The evidence does not permit me to make any further findings concerning any other injuries sustained in this accident.

 Non-pecuniary damages are awarded to compensate an injured claimant for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities.  The claimant here continued to work after each of the accidents.  His recreational activities appear to be limited to riding his motorcycle and dancing, and he continued to participate in those activities.  The judge was not persuaded that the ongoing  problems associated with anger, memory, vomiting or incontinence were caused or contributed to by the accidents in issue.

The claimant was awarded  pain and suffering damages of only $1,500 in relation to the the first accident, $1,500 in relation to the second accident, and $1,000 in relation to the third accident.  The fourth accident claim was dismissed for lack of evidence. In addition, he was awarded special damages of $500 in relation to the second accident.

The problem was the claimant presented no medical evidence in respect of the cause of the injuries and conditions he claims to suffer from; whether his pre-existing conditions were aggravated by the accidents; if so, the extent of the aggravation; or the impact of the two intervening accidents on his current condition.

 A takeaway moral of the story is that evidence is necessary in order to establish possible causes of the injuries and conditions about which a multiple car accident personal injury claim is based.  A personal injury case involving multiple car accident cases needs to establish more than a sequence of events to prove legal causation.

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