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$45,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering but Resolving Soft Tissue Injury

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries addressing soft tissue injury damages, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, assessing damages for a lingering whiplash injury.
In this week’s case (Kelly v. Kotz) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 collision.  The Defendant admitted fault.  The Plaintiff suffered a whiplash type injury which caused chronic headaches.  Although there was improvement with time some symptoms still lingered at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $45,000 Madam Justice Hyslop provided the following reasons:
[100]     I do find that in the accident the plaintiff suffered neck and upper back injuries, and that headaches are a symptom of those injuries…
[105]     She stated that six months after the accident there were days that she felt normal, though there were times that the headaches got worse as to severity and duration and affected her level of concentration. These descriptions are consistent with her reporting to Sarah Robson and Carey Jones.
[106]     When Dr. Brownlee saw the plaintiff, she had normal range of motion and some pain with flexion, particularly with the extension of her neck. The plaintiff told Dr. Brownlee that her symptoms gradually improved, but never resolved themselves completely…
[122]     I conclude that the plaintiff’s symptoms have improved as she described to Dr. Brownlee and will continue to improve.
[123]     In assessing non-pecuniary damages, I considered the plaintiff’s special circumstances and the case law cited to me by both plaintiff and defendants.
[124]     I award $45,000.00 for non-pecuniary damages.

bc injury law, Kelly v. Kotz, Madam Justice Hyslop