BC Court Rejects ICBC's "LVI" Defence

One principle that has become clear in BC injury lawsuits is that ICBC’s LVI Policy of denying tort compensation in minimal vehicle damage accidents has no legal merit.  Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, demonstrating this.
In today’s case (Mendoza-Flores v. Haigh) the Plaintiff was involved in 2 separate motor vehicle collisions.  She was injured in both.   ICBC accepted that the second accident caused some injuries but argued that the first crash “was incapable of causing the injuries complained of (by) the Plaintiff“.  Mr. Justice Harvey rejected this argument with the following useful comments:
[54] Regarding as the relationship between the damage to the two vehicles and the resultant claim for injuries suffered by one of the occupants, it is trite law that the fact that the damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle was minor does not lead to a conclusion that the resultant injuries are also minor: Gordon v. Palmer (1993), 78 B.C.L.R. (2d) 236 (S.C.).
The Court went on to award the Plaintiff damages for her injuries and loss including $40,000 for her non-pecuniary damages.   In reaching this figure Mr. Justice Harvey made the following findings:

[61]        In the result, I find that the plaintiff has experienced a moderate soft tissue injury which continues to cause both discomfort and poses problems in her employment to the present time.

[62]        The plaintiff never fully recovered from the effects of the first accident although it would seem, from the evidence, she was heading toward a complete resolution of her symptoms. Her symptoms just before the second accident were appreciably better than they are presently…

[67]        While unresolved to some extent, I do not view the evidence as proving the plaintiff’s injuries as permanent. Both from an investigative and treatment standpoint it appears there were, and are, further steps available to the plaintiff.

[68]        Reviewing her injuries and comparing them to the authorities I have been referred to, I conclude that $40,000 represents a proper global assessment of the plaintiff’s general damages arising from the two accidents.

You can click here to read my archived posts discussing other BC Court cases dealing with so-called Low Velocity Impacts.

Low Velocity Impact Claims, lvi claims, LVI Defence, LVI Denial, Mendoza-Flores v. Haigh, Mr. Justice Harvey, soft tissue injuries

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

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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