$50,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for "Lingering" Soft Tissue Injury
Adding to this site’s soft tissue injury non-pecuniary database, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, valuing a claim dealing with a ‘lingering‘ neck and shoulder soft tissue injury.
In today’s case (Lal v. Le) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2011 rear-end collision that the Defendant accepted blame for. The Plaintiff suffered various soft tissue injuries the most serious of which involved his neck and shoulder and symptoms lingered to the time of trial. Some long term symptoms were anticipated. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $50,000 Madam Justice Adair provided the following reasons:
 Accordingly, I find that, as a result of the accident, Mr. Lal sustained soft tissue injuries to his neck, back, chest, elbow, leg and shin areas. He also sustained ulnar nerve irritation symptoms, and experienced headaches as a result of his injuries. Most of these injuries resolved over a few months. However, the most serious injuries, a moderate soft tissue injury to his neck, and a moderate muscular strain in his right middle and lower back, did not. As of April 2014, there continued to be objective signs of injury. I find that, by April 2014, Mr. Lal had improved to the point that he was pain-free at times, although, with heavier and awkward work, he experienced symptoms in his neck and back, and also occasional headaches. I find that these symptoms resulted from the injuries he suffered in the accident. By October 2015, Mr. Lal’s mid-back injury had resolved. However, I find that, as of trial, Mr. Lal continued to experience symptoms as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident, particularly symptoms in his neck. He is likely to have some lingering neck and shoulder pain long-term, although the prognosis is more favourable that his back pain will fully resolve over the next year.
 I find further that, as a result of the injuries Mr. Lal suffered in the accident, there is a risk that he will be unable long-term to work as a boilermaker, although he should be able to work full-time as an armored car driver. In addition, I find that, as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident, Mr. Lal will be at increased risk of a work-related neck or back injury. Given the physical nature of his employment, this is a real risk…
 Considering Mr. Lal’s age and the other factors described above, and the cases cited to me, I conclude that an appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $50,000.