$25,000 Awarded for Pain and Suffering in ICBC Low Back Injury Claim
Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court awarding a Plaintiff just over $50,000 in total damages as a result of a motor vehicle collision, $25,000 of which represented non-pecuniary damages (money for pain and suffering).
The collision occurred in 2005. The Plaintiff’s vehicle was rear-ended. The court concluded that the force of the impact was mild.
The court accepted that the Plaintiff suffered a mild muscular injury to his lower back in the motor vehicle accident. The court also found, however, that the Plaintiff was partly to blame for his ongoing symptoms stating that:
 The fact that Mr. Moojelski has been long-delayed in returning to a normal state of health results from a combination of inadequate or ineffective exercise and supervision, Mr. Moojelski’s refusal to take prescribed medications in prescribed dosages and his decision to exceed the recommended dosages by some substantial margin. In that regard, Mr. Moojelski admitted that he reported to Dr. McPherson that when he had been prescribed Tylenol 3, he had used 6 tablets every 2 hours, greatly in excess of the prescribed quantity. I find that it is likely that Mr. Moojelski’s mental health was adversely affected by his personal decision to rely on marijuana as a source of relief rather than adhering to his physician’s prescription of anti-depressants, and by not pursuing physical reconditioning of the kind Dr. le Nobel considers appropriate to a man of his pre-accident physical ability and age.
The court found that the Plaintiff should fully recover from his injury. In valuing the pain and suffering claim at $25,000 the court noted the Plaintiff’s role in his prolonged symptoms stating as follows:
 In all of the circumstances, I am satisfied that an award of $25,000 as general damages adequately compensates Mr. Moojelski for the pain and suffering he has endured, and for the adverse effect upon his enjoyment of life and the loss of amenities. In that assessment, I have taken into account the onset of a mild depression in March 2006, which was accident-related. However, the depression was prolonged by Mr. Moojelski’s failure to adhere to the use of prescribed medications. His refusal was unreasonable and is therefore reflected in the assessment of general damages.