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$40,000 Non-Pecuniary Damage Assessment For Chronic Soft Tissue Injuries

Adding to this site’s archived BC soft tissue injury cases, reasons for judgement were released earlier this year by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision.

In the recent decision (Hammond v. Meeker) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 rear-end collision.  Fault was admitted by the rear motorist.   The Plaintiff was 7 months pregnant at the time and the impact was “substantial“.

The Plaintiff suffered from soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back which continued to produce symptoms including headaches and pain at the time of trial.  The symptoms were expected to continue “for an indefinite period of time“.  In valuing the Plaintiff’s non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life) at $40,000 Mr. Justice Curtis provided the following reasons:

[20] I find on the evidence that the sum of $40,000 is reasonable and fair compensation to Ms. Hammond for the pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life inflicted upon her by the February 9, 2008 collision.  She has suffered a soft tissue injury to her neck and upper back, the significant symptoms of which, particularly headaches and pain and stiffness in the neck, have not resolved in the four years since the collision, and will likely continue for an indefinite period of time in the future.  While the injury and symptoms do not actually prevent any particular activity, they make many activities painful and not enjoyable to the extent that she does not do them.  This has been particularly difficult for her given her position as a home maker with two small children and for a while three with B.T. as a foster child.  On the other hand, I accept Dr. Christie’s opinion that her injury will not require surgery, nor will it make osteoarthritis more likely.

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