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Personal Injury Award Reduced Due to Prior Back Pain and Fault for Car Accident

 
In this ICBC Langley personal injury claim (Shinkaruk v. Crouch,2011 BCSC 1762) a pickup truck collided with the claimant’s car in the intersection of 96th Avenue and Telegraph Trail.  The weather was clear, visibility was good and the streets were bare. The claimant’s evidence was that he pulled up to the sidewalk and looked to his left and there was only one vehicle approaching from that direction, the pickup truck that was was two or three blocks back.
The claimant had a green light and began to  move into the intersection but  the the pick-up truck sped through a red light hitting the claimant’s car.  The judge found the most probable explanation for what happened is that the claimant did not bother checking again because his light was green but if he had taken the time to look, the defendant’s pickup truck  would have been perceived by him as a hazard.  As stated by the Judge, ” However, the greater negligence, I find, rests with the defendant, who entered the intersection on a red light and who was speeding. The evidence also suggests that his rear brakes were not properly functioning.  I assess the defendant’s liability at 80%.”
The injury claimant was a 48 year old ironworker with a significant history of low back pain, including absences from work.  Eight months following the car accident the injury claimant’s family doctor assessed the claimant for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC. His orthopedic and neurological examination of the claiman’s lower back was normal and unremarkable. There was palpatory tenderness only across the thoracic spine, none across the lumbar spine and the claimant’s complaints were noted as “occasional low back pain”.
The judge awarded the injury claimant a total of $66,558.96 broken down as follows:
Pain and suffering:                    $45,000.00
Net Past Income Loss:            $20,522.95
Out-of-pocket expenses:        $  1,036.01
Posted by personal injury lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B. member of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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