This accident injury claimant was a 27-year old recent graduate from Simon Fraser University when he was involved in the car accident(Lee v. Jarvie) which is the topic of my post. In the weeks prior to the accident the claimant was in the midst of applying to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”). He had completed the interview process and was awaiting the results of his reference checks.
The injury claimant was driving a 1996 Honda Civic CX on Como Lake Avenue in Burnaby, BC en route to a RCMP fitness facility in Coquitlam. The traffic on the road at the time was heavy and while he was stopped the claimant looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a vehicle approaching. The claimant concluded the vehicle was not going to stop and therefore he braced for the collision. The other vehicle collided with the rear of the claimant’s vehicle propelling it forward into the rear of the vehicle in front. The force of the collision triggered the airbags in the claimant’s vehicle to deploy.
The injury claimant began feeling stiffness and pain shortly after the accident. The situation was concerning to the claimant as he had yet to hear from the RCMP and feared that the physical effects he was feeling from the accident might thwart his ability to successfully complete the training. A month after the accident the claimant was informed that he had been chosen for the RCMP’s and about a month later he began his police training. The training was intensive, rigorous and both physically and mentally demanding. Nevertheless, the claimant was successful and he graduated. Within a few days he was deployed and on his way to the RCMP detachment in Burnaby, British Columbia. At the time of the trial, the injury claimant was a full-time regular member of the RCMP, holding the rank of Constable, stationed at Burnaby. The other driver admitted fault but could not agree on the amount of compensation owed to the claimant.
The claimant says he has suffered significant and life-altering injuries from the accident that the injuries will affect him for the rest of his life. He consequently seeks an award of damages, both general and special, in addition to an award for past loss of income and opportunities. The claimant was also seeking compensation for the loss of housekeeping capacity, the diminishment of future earning capacity and the cost for future care.
The defence questioned the authenticity of the injury claim and argues the nature and duration of the injuries he suffered as a result of the accident are far less than he asserts. In advancing this position, the defence argues Mr. The claimant’s evidence is unreliable and at times incredible.
The court was not satisfied that the injuries resulting from the motor vehicle accident were as significant or as chronic as claimed. The judge found that the story told by the claimant regarding the physical effects the accident was markedly out of synch with the fact that he successfully completed the rigorous training at the RCMP Depot with the accolades he did and has, since joining the Force, been a productive and valued member who has been promoted twice.
The judge was satisfied that the claimant suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck, shoulders and back as a result of his car accident and that the claimant felt some residual discomfort during his training. Although the judge rejected a number of the claimant the following award was made:
Pain and suffering: $40,000
Loss of Past Income: $ 1,650
Future Care costs: $ 7,500
Out of pocket expenses: $ 1,050
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness