On May 27, 2021 the Supreme Court awarded our client more than double the amount ICBC offered for compensation for car accident injuries after a short four day trial. In awarding $90,000 for her pain and suffering the judge took into account the plaintiff’s age; the nature of the injury; the severity and duration of pain; disability; emotional suffering; impairment of life; impairment of family, marital and social relationships; impairment of physical and mental abilities; loss of lifestyle; and the plaintiff’s stoicism (a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff). ICBC offered less than $40,000 as compensation for her pain and suffering before the trial.
The ICBC lawyer submitted that an award of $50,000 for non-pecuniary damages would be fair and reasonable in this case. However, the judge found an award at the level proposed by ICBC would be too low and would fail to fully take into account the impact of the injuries on the claimants quality of life.
The ICBC claimant sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck, shoulder area, upper and lower back. As of trial, she continued to suffer from the effects of chronic pain syndrome. Her prognosis for full recovery was poor, and, in order to manage her pain symptoms, she must continue to engage in regular exercise to reduce the risk of deconditioning. On the other hand, the court found that her driving anxiety could be improved. Therefore, the prognosis here is a more optimistic one. She is now limited in her ability to go for long walks and socializing with friends, as well as cook for her family. In addition, as a result of the effects of her injuries, the claimant is limited in the activities she can do with her granddaughter.
In view of the findings above, and having regard to the Stapley factors (including age and stage of life), the purpose of an award of non-pecuniary damages the judge awarded the ICBC claimant $90,000 for pain and suffering. the Claimant was awarded over $103,000 before costs, beating her pre-trial offer of $100,001.00.
Important news update for injury claimants: Pain and suffering compensation is no longer available for most car accidents after May 1, 2021 and accidents Between April 1, 2019 and May 1, 2021 may be capped at $5,600 under the ICBC Minor Injury Legislation. Call us for a free consultation to find out about your options.