Category Archives: Pain & suffering award

Judge values chronic shoulder & arm pain at $68,000 & lost housekeeping capacity at $10,000 

Ms Wendt, 55, continued to suffer shoulder & arm pain 3 years after she was rear-ended. ICBC’s lawyers argued that her pain & suffering award should be reduced because she did not fully follow her doctor’s advice, her pain increased after she unwisely moved furniture & she had pre-mva arthritis. Continue reading

Judge awards $180,000 for pain & suffering for permanent chronic pain, PTSD & depression

Ms. Ali, 42, had moderate pain in her chest, wrist, shoulder & back after her MVA.

5 years later at the time of her trial, she continued to suffer from severe back pain that interfered with all aspects of her life. Due to her pain, she became moody & isolated herself from her family. Her psychiatrist diagnosed her with major depressive disorder & PTSD. Continue reading

$90,000 pain & suffering award – worsening of pre-mva headaches & permanent neck injury

After Ms. Willet’s car was struck in the rear by a car that attempted to pass her she had pain in her neck, back, right shoulder & right hip.  Seven years later when she went to trial she continued to suffer from neck pain that led to severe migraine headaches. She had a long history of migraines before her accident. Continue reading

 Judge awards $110,000 for pain & suffering – permanent injury to balance system & other injuries 

Mr. Wright, age 56, was rear-ended. This resulted in a balance system disorder called “visual-vestibular mismatch”.

It also caused soft-tissue injuries to his shoulders, neck & back & significant worsening of his depression.

His balance problems caused him to fall & suffer an injury to his groin. Continue reading

Judge awards $100,000 for pain & suffering to man with chronic pain

Mr. Lafond, 57, continued to have pain in his right shoulder, neck & back as well as ongoing headaches, anxiety & depression at his trial 6 years after his car accident & his future did not look bright. He was a stoic person not given to complaining. Continue reading

Judge awards $80,000 for pain & suffering to plumber who worked through his long-term pain

Mr. Catling, age 56, was broadsided in a car accident.  Four years later at his trial, he complained of ongoing pain in his back, knees & elbows which doctors diagnosed as moderate soft tissue injuries. 

His work in his own small plumbing business involved very physical labour & working in awkward body positions. ICBC’s medical expert was optimistic about his recovery but the expert hired by Mr. C’s lawyer was quite pessimistic. 

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Judge awards $175,000 for pain & suffering – permanent low back & SI joint pain, anxiety & depression

Ms. Kim suffered soft tissue injuries from her mva to her low back & SI joints which caused her significant pain. This pain, combined with her pre-accident personality, resulted in the mental & physical disorders she suffered.

After her trial, the judge concluded that:

  • Ms. K suffered “more than superficial physical injuries”,
  • she had faced very significant mental suffering,
  • her disability was likely permanent &
  • it prevented her from doing activities she enjoyed before her mva, her work & her more difficult household tasks.

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Judge awarded claimant less because she didn’t do a conditioning program – $65,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Dupuis, 56, suffered from neck, shoulder, back & hip pain caused by her second accident a month after her first minor one.

When her symptoms did not improve 2 years after her accident, her family doctor recommended she start a conditioning program. She didn’t follow his advice until almost 4 years after her accident when she still had shoulder pain. The judge awarded her $65,000 for the pain and suffering she experienced over those four years and minor problems after that. Continue reading

 Judge assessed $140,000 for pain & suffering for long-term pain & psych problems – but then cut this in half

Ms. Mullens suffered moderate soft tissue injuries in a car accident. At her trial 4 years later, she continued to suffer from anxiety, depression, panic attacks & chronic headaches, neck & low back pain.

The judge concluded that “from a purely physical point of view she ought to have recovered from her injuries long ago, but the accident triggered ongoing psychological conditions…”

She had not followed several recommendations given by her doctors.  Continue reading

Claimant’s chronic pain much worse after mva— $110,000 for pain & suffering less 50% for his fault

Mr. McNeilly, 52, was suffering from a back injury, degenerative disc disease & severe pain in both feet before his accident. Then he suffered shoulder, hip, neck & chest injuries from his mva.

Two of the main issues at his trial were:

– to what extent his condition was worsened by his mva &

– whether he was partly at fault for his mva.  Continue reading

Judge penalizes claimant for not disclosing a serious fall & not providing her gp’s report

Three years after Ms. Mohamud’s car accident she fell, was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital. She claimed at trial that her fall made her pain worse for only a week. Then it returned to what it was like before her fall.

She did not mention her serious fall to any of the 3 medical specialists her lawyer hired for her case.

Her lawyer did not provide the court with a report from her family doctor (gp). Continue reading

72 year old woman’s injuries healed within 3 years after her mva — judge awards her $50,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Bardua was 72 years old at the time of her mva & was already suffering from back, knee & hip problems. After her accident her pre-accident pain & discomfort worsened & she also began experiencing rib pain.

One issue at her trial was whether Ms. B pain & discomfort had returned to how she was pre-accident.

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Judge slams opinions of orthopaedic surgeon & psychologist hired by ICBC’s lawyer & makes large award

Ms. Kalstrom was involved in six MVA’s between 2001 & 2004. Ms. K claimed at trial for all her MVA’s that she suffered from chronic pain & depression as a combined result of all her accidents. ICBC’s lawyers, on behalf of the drivers at fault for the accidents, argued that her chronic pain was caused by stressors that are unrelated to her accidents.

ICBC’s lawyer hired:

  • Dr. Schweigel, an elderly orthopaedic surgeon who had done a huge amount of work for ICBC over the years. He, in essence, rejected Ms. K’s claim and implied that she was exaggerating and
  • Dr. Koch, a psychologist. He claimed that Ms. K’s problems stemmed from a borderline personality disorder and not from her MVA’s.

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Long-term dizziness & memory problems – $175,000 pain & suffering award

Mr. Mayer was 69 years old when he was involved in a car accident. After his accident everything hurt — his hands, neck and back. These symptoms gradually improved. He also suffered from dizziness & memory loss which continued at the time of his trial.

Mr. M ran a business making custom equipment for rehab & physio clinics. He also excelled in amateur winemaking & wine judging. Just before his trial, he had to close his business because his dizziness and memory loss affected his ability to work. His memory loss also affected his ability to judge wines because judges are required to make recommendations on how to improve wine blends.

Each of Mr. Mayer’s & ICBC’s lawyer called a neurologist to testify at trial about whether or not he suffered a mild brain injury. ICBC’s neurologist was trounced.

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Claimant’s award reduced by $13,500 because she failed to attend a doctor-recommended exercise program

Ms. Nijar was injured in two car accidents two years apart. Neither of them were her fault. She suffered from headaches & neck & back pain from both her accidents which had not resolved at the time of her trial.

ICBC’s lawyer:

  • used Ms. N’s doctor’s records to show that he had told her a few times to go to the gym or to a rehab program to strengthen her back muscles,
  • argued that she did not follow his advice & thus did not take all reasonable steps to mitigate (minimize) her damages and
  • had her doctor agree in cross-examination that if she had done some weight training she would have had less back pain.

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Judge awards man $30,000 for the extent mva worsened his condition but rejects loss of housekeeping capacity claim

Mr. Ben-Yosef was in a serious car accident in 1998 and never fully recovered. In 2011, 13 years later, he was struck by a car while in a crosswalk. He described the accident to his family doctor 2 weeks later — that he had been “bumped”.

At trial, Mr. B claimed that:

  • his 2011 accident worsened his ongoing symptoms from his 1998 injuries,
  • it had prevented him from being able to do his family’s housekeeping and
  • he hired a housecleaner to replace his work around the house.

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$110,000 pain & suffering award — permanent shoulder & back pain & tinnitis

A judge of the Supreme Court of BC found that 5 years after his accident Mr. Arletto:

  • suffers from permanent back & shoulder pain,
  • had to reduce his working hours,
  • cannot tolerate loud noises or family dinners due to the “swooshing” sound in his ear (tinnitis), and
  • as a result of his inability to tolerate loud noises his family & social relationships have suffered.

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Judge rejects the opinion of Dr Levin, a psychiatrist used frequently by ICBC, & awards damages of $702,435

Ms. Litt was involved in two car accidents, one in 2003 and another in 2010. They left her with an ongoing pain disorder. She sought compensation in part for her psychological injuries resulting from her accidents. She testified that her mood was awful – she felt angry and irritable all the time.

ICBC hired a psychiatrist, Dr. Levin. He wrote a report & then testified at trial. He claimed that because Ms. L. returned to work and school after her accidents she could not have a psychological pain disorder.

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Judge praises claimant for her stoicism and awards her $60,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Hinder was 29 years old when her vehicle was hit by the defendant taxi driver in Dec 2010.

She suffered from intense headaches and upper back pain for over a year after her accident. Then her headaches and upper back pain became low-grade pains with occasional flare-ups.

A specialist wrote a report for her lawyer stating that Ms. H will unlikely to be ever free from pain. This has hampered her ability to go mountain biking which she greatly enjoyed.

She went to court in March, 2015 to seek compensation for her injuries. She sought somewhere in the range of $55,000-$65,000 for her pain and suffering. ICBC’s lawyer argued:

  • for an award of $25,000 to $35,000 partly on the basis
  • that she failed to take all reasonable steps to get better.

Continue reading

Claimant chose to not take anti-depressants her doctor gently suggested – 20% reduction in P&S award

Ms. Castro was involved in an accident in 2010 and then a second one in 2012. Fault was admitted.  The legal actions respecting each of these accidents were ordered by agreement to be heard together at one trial. This is the practice in our courts.

As a result of the first accident Ms. C received six fractured ribs, bruising to her arm, leg, and chest, and head injuries. The second accident made these injuries worse, particularly to her neck, shoulder, and spine. She went on to develop chronic pain. Her doctor diagnosed her with “major depressive disorder” in Feb, 2015 and prescribed her anti-depressant medication which she decided to discontinue.

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Claimant whose income increased after her accident awarded $50,000 for lost future earning capacity

Ms. Hubley sought damages following a car accident in Fort St. John when she was 57. She suffered a knee injury which did not resolve and requires surgery. She also suffered soft tissue injuries which resolved within six months.

Over the 3.5 years since her accident her annual income at a sawmill almost doubled because she logged more and more overtime hours after a short period off work.

ICBC’s lawyer argued that no award should be given for loss of future earning capacity since her increased earnings suggested that the accident did not impact her ability to earn income.

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No award for lost future earning capacity based on claimant’s need to take stretch breaks at work

Ms. Best went to trial in Vancouver in September, 2015, two & a half years after her car accident.

She worked long hours on a computer and as a manager until she got a job before her trial teaching her trade at the Vancouver Film School.

Ms. Best claimed that:

  • people in her trade have to sit for prolonged periods of time, and
  • her future ability to earn income was diminished because of her inability to do so due to her ongoing neck & back injuries.

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Court awards dizzy & nauseous claimant $100,000 for pain & suffering & lost housekeeping capacity

Ms. Reimer was involved in a car accident in 2011 in which she hit her head. Prior to her accident she was physically active and enjoyed spending time with her friends & grandchildren. However after her accident she suffered from nausea, dizziness, nightmares and neck, back, and jaw pain. Her soft tissue injuries & nightmares resolved but her dizziness, imbalance & migraine headaches had become chronic.

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Claimant injured in three accidents but he caused his 2nd one – damages awarded

Mr. Lane was injured in the first of his three accidents in 2008. His second accident was his fault.

After his second accident Mr. L. developed severe depression. His third accident made his depression much worse.

One issue Mr. L faced at trial was damages for his depression because he caused his second accident which started his depression.

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Court fully compensates claimant’s chronic pain & depression although her accident was only one of several causes

Ms. K suffered whiplash type injuries in a 2007 car accident. Her pain became chronic and she became depressed. The consensus of the medical experts at her trial was that “her chronic pain is unlikely to resolve and the focus of her treatment should be on pain management, not cure.”

Mr. Justice Blok concluded that “there is a significant psychological aspect to Ms. K’s’ ongoing difficulties. They may not rise to the level of a psychiatric disorder but it is plain that psychological issues play an important part in her level of functioning and her approach to rehabilitation.” Factors unrelated to the accident contributed to her depression.

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Court refuses to penalize claimant who tried to return to her pre-accident sport in spite of her pain

Ms. Hendry was an energetic 26 year old who loved sports at the time of her car accident in Burnaby in 2012.

Her accident caused her jaw soreness, neck & shoulder pain & shooting pain down her arms. She claimed that she missed work briefly before the start of her trial in 2015.

A year after her accident she entered an auto racing competition even though she said that her symptoms had only mildly improved by then. ICBC’s lawyer argued at her trial that:

  • this showed that she had fully recovered from her injuries within one year;
  • her accident did not cause her a significant injury; and
  • he should award her $20,000 – $30,000 for her pain and suffering.

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Judge awards $110,000 for pain and suffering for chronic pain & depression

Mr. Grewal was driving in Langley when he was struck by another vehicle. As a result of the accident, he sustained many injuries, including broken ribs, soft tissue injuries to his neck and shoulder, and damage to his knee, which required surgery. Due to these injuries, he experienced chronic pain that will likely be long term, and major depressive disorder. He lost a significant amount of weight and had trouble sleeping.

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Claimant awarded $50,000 for pain & suffering for increased back and neck pain after his accident

Mr. Dhaliwal was an elderly man who was involved in a car accident in Surrey. Two years prior he fell from a ladder and injured his back and neck. His car accident made his neck and back injuries much worse.

Mr. D was unable to settle his claim for damages and therefore sought compensation at trial in New Westminster. On April 2nd, 2015, Mr. Justice Truscott released his written decision (called in law his “reasons for judgement”). Continue reading

Judge awards woman with constant pain & headaches $90,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Roth was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2011. She experienced neck pain and headaches up to her trial three years after the accident. Her doctors thought her injuries did not affect her as much as she claimed. They were also quite optimistic about her future. They predicted that: Continue reading

Pain & suffering award $45,000 for moderate whiplash 4 years ago – judge expects flare-ups for 5 more years

Mr. Justice Weatherill concluded in the case of Chingcuangco v. Herback that the claimant suffered a “grade II whiplash” injury, contusion injuries to her chest and lower abdomen, a chest wall strain and a chipped tooth.

Over four years have passed since the accident and she still suffers from intermittent neck and lower back pain and tension headaches as a result of the accident. I find that it is reasonable to expect the plaintiff will be fully recovered within five years.” Continue reading

What judges consider when they decide whether to believe an injured claimant

Mr. Bouvier, the claimant in the Bouvier v. Behrend case, injured his arm in a bus accident. The judge concluded that the testimony of the medical & lay witnesses was largely based on what the claimant told them. If he was not truthful with them then their value as witnesses was greatly reduced.

This case is an example of the lawyer’s maxim, “credibility is king”, meaning that it wins cases.

Mr. Justice Harris explained the factors judges and juries are to consider when they decide whether or not to believe a claimant. Key points here were that Mr. Bouvier:

  • did not overstate his injuries,
  • admitted that he had greatly improved since his accident and
  • tried hard to return to work after his accident.

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Judge reduces award to woman with chronic pain who failed to accept medical advice to seek counseling and take meds

After her accident, the plaintiff (claimant) in the Carreon-Rivera v. Zhang case got worse rather than better over time and developed  chronic pain and depression as a result of her injuries.

Her one failing, which cost her at trial, was this: she chose to ignore the advice of her physicians to obtain psychological counseling and to take anti-depressant medication for her depression. Her physicians thought that this would have helped but not cured her chronic pain.

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Judge awarded $20,000 for pain & suffering for a neck injury which fully resolved after one year

On June 2, 2014 Justice Peter Rogers gave reasons for judgement in Huntley v. Daley. He concluded that the plaintiff [claimant] sustained a mild to moderate soft tissue injury to her neck with associated headaches and that her symptoms were no longer functionally limiting by one year after her accident. He explained her reasoning as follows: Continue reading