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$45,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering Soft Tissue Injuries

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries addressing soft tissue injuries, reasons for judgement were released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for lingering soft tissue injuries.
In last week’s case (Smith v. Both) the Plaintiff was injured in a “not particularly severe” collision in 2009.  She sustained soft tissue injuries which remained symptomatic at the time of trial and were expected to have some lingering consequences.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $45,000 Madam Justice Russell provided the following reasons:
[99]         It is clear from the evidence that the impact in the Accident was not particularly severe. In coming to this conclusion, I have considered the fact that the damage to the vehicles was negligible, neither vehicles’ airbags deployed, the defendant’s seatbelt did not lock, and the plaintiff’s car did not move forward far enough to hit the car in front of it.
[100]     However, on the basis of the evidence before me I find that the plaintiff has demonstrated that the pain in her neck, shoulders, and lower back, as well as headaches, were caused by the Accident. These symptoms emerged after the Accident, and according to both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s medical experts, these pain symptoms are consistent with soft tissue injuries…
104]     I find it is likely she will continue to have some pain resulting from the soft tissue injuries she suffered in the Accident.
[105]     However, I am not satisfied the plaintiff has demonstrated that this pain will not improve or that the residual pain will be severe…
[131]     In the circumstances of this case, considering Ms. Smith’s age, pre-Accident activity level, injuries, severity and duration of pain, interference with lifestyle, and impairment of life and of social relationships, I award the plaintiff $45,000 in non-pecuniary damages.

bc injury law, Madam Justice Russell, Smith v. Both