BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

$16,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Year Long Soft Tissue Injury

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for soft tissue injuries which occurred as a result of a so-called ‘low velocity‘ impact.

In this week’s case (Ram v. Rai) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 rear-end collision. ¬†The crash resulted in little¬†vehicle¬†damage. ¬†The Defendant testified that the impact involved ¬†’very little force‘¬†although¬†the Court rejected this finding that the Defendant’s¬†version¬†of events was “¬†internally inconsistent and generally unconvincing.“. ¬†The court went on to find that the Plaintiff¬†suffered¬†a year long soft tissue injury. ¬†In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $16,000 Mr. Justice Holmes provided the following reasons:

[47]         As I find, at the time of the accident Ms. Ram was an active and healthy young woman of 21 years of age, who was busily engaged not only in full-time post-secondary studies but also in two part-time jobs.  She had an active social life with friends that involved playing several different sports as opportunities presented.  She enjoyed gym workouts and doing workout exercise tapes at home.

[48]         As I find, the accident left Ms. Ram with throbbing pain in her back, neck, and head that became intermittent over time, with occasional numbness in her legs.  The pain in the various areas gradually resolved within a year, the back pain last of all.

[49]¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The effects of the injuries caused Ms.¬†Ram to miss work and some school during the few days or a week after the accident.¬† They made her withdraw from social activities over a longer term, so that she seemed to her family to be withdrawn and reclusive, no longer her bubbly self.¬† These effects resolved as her injuries resolved, within about a year…

[55]         On all the evidence, I conclude that the appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages in this case is $16,000. 

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