Judge awards child with head & psychological injuries $31,000 for pain & suffering

Julien was 5 years old at the time of his accident in early 2012. His mother was driving too fast, her car skidded & flipped over. He sustained a blow to his head, a fractured bone of the eye socket, some bruising on his head and anxiety issues which remained at the time of his trial.


Julien still becomes upset and stressed when his mother is infrequently late. He worries that she has been in another car accident.

On Feb 19, 2016 in Vancouver, Madam Justice Watchuk released her reasons for judgment. In awarding $31,000 for Julien’s pain & suffering, she noted his:

  • young age at the time of the accident,
  • relative stoicism & resilience in recovering quickly and
  • the lingering effect of stress when his mother is late.

A so-called “infant” in law:

  • is defined in BC as anyone under the age of 19,
  • is generally entitled to seek compensation from ICBC,
  • must do so through an adult representative known as a “litigation guardian”,
  • does not receive his or her settlement or court award until age 19,
  • is entitled to sue a parent if a parent was at fault and
  • recovers damages from the at-fault parent’s insurer, ICBC, up to at least the mandatory minimum third party liability coverage of $200,000.

See Bunnah (Guardian ad litem of) v Bunnah, 2016 BCSC 264