$30,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering Back Injury

Reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a lingering back injury caused by a motor vehicle collision.
In last week’s case (Sidhu v. Johal) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2007 collision.  Fault was admitted by the offending motorist.  Although the Court rejected the Plaintiff’s evidence as to the severity and frequency of his complaints Madam Justice Fitzpatrick accepted the Plaintiff suffered from lingering back pain which flared with heavier activity.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $30,000 the Court provided the following reasons:

[142] After having considered the evidence from Mr. Sidhu, the evidence of his independent witnesses and the medical evidence referred to above, I also find as a fact that Mr. Sidhu suffered the following injuries as a result of the accident and that those injuries were and are as follows:

a)       he suffered driving anxiety for a few days;

b)       he suffered headaches for approximately three weeks;

c)       he suffered pain to his ribcage or chest which was severe in the first three weeks but decreased from that time and was resolved within six months;

d)       he suffered shoulder pain which was resolved within a few weeks and neck pain which was resolved within two months;

e)       he suffered constant and severe pain in his back or lower back immediately following the accident which gradually became intermittent in the two months following the accident;

f)        since August 2007, Mr. Sidhu’s back problems have continued to improve; and

g)       following December 2007, Mr. Sidhu’s back pain was resolved for the most part, however, Mr. Sidhu continues to experience discomfort and mild pain in his back or lower back from time to time on a fairly infrequent basis, which increases to the point of severity depending on his physical fitness (based on his exercise regimen) and depending on the amount of exertion of heavy physical labour.

[143] I specifically reject Mr. Sidhu’s contention that he experienced constant and severe back pain for one and a half years after the accident and that he continues at this time to suffer sharp or severe back pain three to four times per week…

[157] I find that Mr. Sidhu is entitled to non-pecuniary damages in the amount of $30,000.

bc injury law, Madam Justice Fitzpatrick, Sidhu v. Johal

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Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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