Average ICBC Rear Ender Payouts from the Supreme Court
Getting hit from behind while stopped in traffic is a common occurrence, usually referred to as a rear-end accident. As a personal injury lawyer in British Columbia since 1995, I can say there have likely been more rear end car accident cases forced into court in 2020 than any other year in BC history. Now that the NDP government has given more power to ICBC, they are refusing to provide adequate compensation and often denying legitimate claims.
Even the most straight forward case in which a person is hit from behind while stopped for traffic is either completely denied or given a very low offer. This forces cases into court increasing costs for the average driver.
The right to fair compensation was removed with the NDP Minor Injury Laws and all rights will be eliminated in 2021 for the pain and suffering of innocent victims. It is therefore critically important that claimants get legal representation in order that lawsuits are filed to protect what few rights our citizens have left.
If your car accident occurred before April 1, 2019 you may still be entitled to fair compensation, but you really only have a chance if you have a legal advocate on your side. If you are injured in a car accident before April 1, 2019 you should get a lawyer immediately, before ICBC destroys your case.
Remember that ICBC is not required to look out for your best interest and for claimants with accident before April 1, 2019 the Minor Injury cap of $5,500 DOES NOT APPLY. If this is your case you know we are right when we say that ICBC has not told you this.
ICBC is not telling claimants with accident before April 1, 2019 that their claims for pain and suffering are worth more than $5,500. If you think we’r exaggerating about the number of rear enders going to court in 2020 read on.
Here are 18 rear-end personal injury cases reported in 2020 that prove your claim for pain and suffering is likely worth much more than $5,500.00:
- Khashei v. Pirro, 2020 BCSC 1048- the injury claimant was in his car and stopped at the intersection of 132 Street and 100 Avenue in Surrey, British Columbia, when he was rear-ended. Mr. Pirro admits liability for the Accident. The claimant was unable to play with or even carry his active three-year-old daughter. He suffered from four psychiatric disorders. His persistence in continuing to work for some 16 months after the Accident despite his significant pain demonstrate his stoicism. For his pain and suffering he was $200,000.
- McGahan v. Selock, 2020 BCSC 973- The claimant stopped her vehicle at a pedestrian crossing on Government Street in Penticton, at which point she was rear-ended. As a result of the Accident, the claimanr suffered soft tissue injuries, headaches and chronic lower back pain. She was able to get out of the car and exchange insurance information. She continued on to pick up her son, although her rear bumper was clearly damaged. The vehicle was eventually declared a total loss. $75,000 for this rear ender was awarded for her pain and suffering. For accident after April 1, 2019, the NDP Minor Injury CaP would have limited compensation to $5,500.00
- Pinkney v. Bigg, 2020 BCSC 848- In the first accident,the claimant was driving her car when she was rear-ended as she waited to merge onto Benvoulin in Kelowna. She was hit hard enough that she lost consciousness for a short time. She was taken by ambulance to the emergency department, where she spent 5-6 hours and had x-rays taken of her neck, back and thumb. Her husband, Ron Pinkney, was called to the scene and recalls her being very shaky and in pain. Her injuries were very serious and had significant impact on her life. As a result of the multiple accidents, she suffered daily from back pain, neck pain, jaw pain and headaches. $110,000 was awarded for her pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Randall v. Boettger, 2020 BCSC 802- In this case the ICBC guilty driver rear ended the vehicle being driven by the claimant but denied fault. The only conclusion the judge could draw from the evidence was that the defendant’s vehicle rear-ended the claimant’s vehicle, likely because of inattention. The defendant did not provid a non-negligent explanation for the MVA and was therefore 100% at fault for the car accident.
- Lluncor v. Anderson,2020 BCSC 767- Liability for this rear end collision is admitted by the guilty driver. Following the accident, he performed his work duties without any time off due to his injuries and without any apparent interference with the performance of those duties. For pain and suffering from his low back and hip injury the judge awarded $72,500. With the Minor Injury Caps brought in by the NDP in 2019 this claim would have only received $5,500.00.
- Mannella v. Obregon, 2020 BCSC 715- The second accident in this case happened when the claimant was carpooling to work as a rear seat passenger westbound on East Hastings Street near Kaslo Street in Vancouver. The driver came to a stop because the police were blocking the roadway for some reason. Several seconds later a vehicle struck the claimant’s vehicle with some force from the rear. He suffered pain and limitations from his injuries for the years between the accidents and trial without full recovery. He will will continue to suffer from his injuries into the foreseeable future. $80,000 for this rear ender was awarded for pain and suffering.
- Chapman v. Zilm, 2020 BCSC 695- In this case, the court reviewed several prior rear end vehicle claims:· Austin v. Reardon, 2014 BCSC 37: The plaintiff was a 17-year-old male in a reasonably significant rear-end collision on a highway. He suffered chronic pain in his mid-back. His prognosis for recovery was poor and he was forced to take time off work. By the time of trial, he had returned to working a physically demanding job and was still able to participate in some of his recreational activities. He was awarded $65,000 for non-pecuniary damages.· Blackman v. Dha, 2015 BCSC 698: The plaintiff was a 37-year-old active and healthy married female with 3 children and a career as an elementary school music teacher. She was involved in a low velocity rear-end collision. At trial she continued to suffer from headaches and pain on the left side of her neck, shoulder and upper back. Right wrist and forearm pain had resolved. Her doctors agreed that she suffered from chronic pain and had a poor prognosis for full recovery. Her pain restricted her ability to play instruments and participate in some community activities she once enjoyed. She was awarded $80,000 in non-pecuniary damages.· Wahid v. Caporusso, 2016 BCSC 1743: The plaintiff was an athletic and physically active RCMP officer. She was involved in two rear-end motor vehicle accidents, one at the age of 26 and the other at 27. She suffered from chronic pain syndrome in her neck, upper back, left shoulder and headaches. Doctors agreed she would likely continue to experience pain for the foreseeable future. She missed work and took periods of medical leave after both accidents, and it took her almost three years to return to work full-time on a fully operational basis. She was unable to be as active or social as she had been before the accident. She was awarded $100,000 for non-pecuniary damages.· Montes v. Lee, 2007 BCSC 1238: The plaintiff was 34 years old and working for a courier company as an independent contractor when involved in a liability-admitted rear-end collision. The plaintiff took two weeks off work before returning to light duties. His doctor diagnosed him with moderate myofascial pain or moderate whiplash type injury in his neck, extending to his right shoulder, his low back and headaches. Most of his problems had resolved within 18 months of the accident but he continued to suffer from back pain at the time of trial. He was unable to perform household chores for a year after the accident and his recreational activities were restricted such that he gained 23 pounds. He was unable to play competitive basketball at the same level he had before the accident which made him feel depressed. He was awarded $30,000 in non-pecuniary damages.· Erwin v. Buhler, 2017 BCSC 362: The plaintiff was a 53-year-old working in a physically demanding job who also enjoyed hiking, biking, kayaking and other activities. He suffered neck, shoulder and low-back injuries in a rear-end accident. These were mostly resolved within one year. However, the court determined that he continued to suffer from intermittent headaches and neck and back pain. He was awarded $40,000 in non-pecuniary damages.· Hunter v. Yuan, 2010 BCSC 1526: The plaintiff was a healthy and active 28-year-old full time secretary involved in a minor rear-end collision. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her shoulders, upper right back and neck with accompanying headaches and sleep disruption. She missed approximately three weeks of work after the accident. By 2008 she was 85% recovered but continued to suffer intermittent headaches and shoulder, upper back and neck pain. Her recovery had plateaued. She continued to avoid some of her pre-accident activities and her symptoms continued to affect her mood. She was awarded $35,000 in non-pecuniary damages.· Mak v. Eichel, 2008 BCSC 1102: The female plaintiff was 27 years old at the time of a rear-end collision. She sustained injuries to her neck, back and shoulders and had trouble sleeping. She was not able to work for two weeks after the accident. Several months after the accident her symptoms had mostly resolved but she continued to suffer from stiffness in her neck and soreness in her shoulder. She was less able to manage physical labour at work, though her condition would likely improve and she would likely not suffer any permanent disability. There was not much impact on her lifestyle beyond the first two weeks. She was awarded $20,000 in non-pecuniary damages.
- Szostakiwskyj v. Launay, 2020 BCSC 653- Both car accidents claimed were rear-end collisions, and liability had been admitted in both. Both accidents occurred in Victoria, BC. The second accident caused some long-term diminishment in the claimant’s enjoyment of life. $65,000 for pain and suffering was awarded. However the court applied a 20% reduction to this award due to the future potential cause of his pain and limitations related to underlying disc disease.
- Conarroe v. Tallack, 2020 BCSC 626- This case involved two car accident one which involved a driver rear-ending a car that was occupied by the claimant. The impact on his mental health was severe, and the accidents negatively impacted key relationships in his life and his ability to work in a career. However, some reduction was appropriate to address his pre-existing pain and some pre-existing anxiety and PTSD. The judge awarded $180,000 for pain and suffering. With the NDP Minor Injury Cap she would have only received $5,500.00
- Dhami v. Madden, 2020 BCSC 573 The second accident was a multi-vehicle rear-end collision. In the second accident the claimant’s vehicle was stopped at a red-light and was struck from behind by a vehicle that had been pushed forward after being struck by another car. His injuries impaired her social life only to a small degree. The injuries did not prevent her from making the trips India and England. She had pre-existing symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, memory issues, interrupted sleep and forgetfulness. $60,000 was awarded for her pain and suffering due to the rear end collision.
- Heo v. Kennedy,2020 BCSC 464- The claimant was driving in Surrey, British Columbia and was rear-ended, causing her to rear-end the vehicle in front of her. Liability was admitted. She had to have a neck surgery, which was a success overall. She continued to suffer from some neck and low back pain, but that the pain lessened following the surgery and over time. She was given an award of $150,000 for her pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment.
- Neufeldt v. Marcellus, 2020 BCSC 427- The claimant was a front seat passenger at a red light when the vehicle was rear-ended. After the accident the other vehicle immediately reversed his vehicle and fled, driving away from the scene of the accident. The fleeing vehicle did not stop. The claimant suffered serious injuries and for pain and suffering was awarded $200,000.
- Repin v. Aam Ventures Ltd, 2020 BCSC 227- The claimant was driving, stopped at lights and felt a truck hit the rear end of her vehicle. She was able to exit the vehicle on her own. The accident only mildly aggravated her pre-existing conditions, to the extent it aggravated them at all. An award of $40,000 was appropriate for her accident related pain. This amount accounted for her soft-tissue injuries and the mild aggravation of her underlying conditions.
- McColl v. Sullivan, 2020 BCSC 13- The claimant was injured in two rear end collisions, which occurred 3 months apart. The injuries resulted in emotional and psychological symptoms, affecting her personality and relationships with friends and family. However, her ability to navigate a social life, including intimate relationships will continue to improve. While she has concerns about her ability to be a parent, I am not satisfied that she will be unable to successfully parent a child, should that possibility arise in her personal life. She was unlikely to work in her chosen career again. $120,000 was awarded for her pain and suffering. With the 2019 Minor Injury Law she would only get $5,500.0
- Williams v. Dolhan, 2020 BCSC 136- The second accident in this case was a rear-end collision. She was stopped at a red light at the intersection of High Road and Glenmore Road in Kelowna. She observed a yellow Camaro approaching in her rear view mirror at speed and not slowing down. The Camaro impacted the rear of the Mazda in the area of its trailer hitch. Her vehicle was pushed forward approximately one car length. The claimant suffered soft-tissue injuries to her neck, mid-back and low back and was awarded $90,000 for pain and suffering. If her accident has occurred after April 1, 2019 the NDP’s Minor Injury Law would have limited her compensation to $5,500.00.
- Lewis v. Worth, 2020 BCSC 57 – This was an assessment of damages flowing from a rear-end collision. In arriving at an award for pain and suffering the court took into account that the claimant suffered inability to care for her home and husband as she did before. Some of the housework she used to be able to do herself, and enjoy, is now done by hired help. The judge concluded that a fair award for pain and suffering, including an allowance for loss of housekeeping capacity, was $105,000.
- Rabbani-Nejad v. Sharma, 2020 BCSC 58- This personal injury claim arose from two separate motor vehicle accidents. The first occurred when the vehicle she was driving was rear-ended while stationary. The second occurred when the vehicle in which she was traveling as a front seat passenger was rear-ended. The claimant was involved in a third accident during which the vehicle she was occupying was again rear-ended. The claimant was entitled to claim the entirety of her loss from all three collisions in the lawsuit. As she was likely continue to experience chronic pain at least to some degree long term in the future $85,000 was awarded for her pain and suffering.
- Winick v. Goddard, 2020 BCSC 4- The claimant was involved in three rear-end motor vehicle accidents. Her chronic pain condition became permanent, but with a reasonable prospect for increased functioning and a return to more activity in the future. The judge awarded $110,000 for her pain and suffering.
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