Pain and Suffering for Dislocated Shoulder / Elbow and Soft Tissue Injuries
Reasons for judgement were released today awarding damages as a result of injuries and loss from a 2002 BC motor vehicle collision.
The Plaintiff was a passenger. He was involved in a single vehicle accident. The collision was significant and is described at paragraph 2 of the reasons for judgment as follows:
The thirty-two year old plaintiff was travelling from Prince Rupert to Terrace as passenger with three children in a car driven by the defendant, Crystal Caroline Bird (“Bird”), when Bird lost control of the vehicle after encountering ice on the highway. The vehicle, a 1998 Toyota van owned by Bird, crossed the centre line of the highway and rolled twenty feet down an embankment, flipping over before it landed. According to Wilson, he lost consciousness briefly in the accident and felt pain in his shoulder, elbow and left knee immediately. He bled from his head, having hit the window. His back hurt. A passing driver was hailed and managed to open the passenger door. Wilson got out of the vehicle and sat, waiting for the ambulance. The vehicle was very significantly damaged.
The Plaintiff sustained some fairly serious injuries and these, along with their recovery, are summarized well at paragraph 31 of the judgement which I reproduce below:
The plaintiff suffered a dislocated right shoulder, dislocated left elbow, contusion and sprain of the left knee, mild sprain of the cervical spine, and multiple contusions and bruises in the motor vehicle accident of November 30, 2002. I accept Dr. Kokan’s assessment that the plaintiff’s left knee was not dislocated in the accident but was probably sprained and has fully recovered. The right shoulder had largely resolved by August 2003 but remains vulnerable to re-injury. The left elbow has been the greatest problem, heightened by the lengthy wait for surgery. The plaintiff has lost about ten percent of the movement in this elbow and has residual tenderness. The incapacity is, however, mild and the plaintiff still has a good range of motion in the elbow. The left knee had largely resolved to its pre-accident state by June 2005. It is difficult to ascribe continuing lower back pain to the accident. I conclude that there was some accerbation of the historical back pain in the accident but do not find that continuing problems can be attributed to the accident. The plaintiff’s scalp laceration and facial abrasions have healed.
In awarding $85,000 for the Plaintiff’s Pain and Suffering the court made the following observations:
 Wilson’s injuries here are more significant that in either Thorp or Foreman. The plaintiff required two surgeries for the left elbow dislocation (including a closed reduction) and a closed reduction of the dislocated right shoulder, among other injuries described above. Wilson has greater permanent restriction in movement of the left elbow than did the plaintiff in Thorp and still has nagging pain. He is stoical about the continuing pain and discomfort. Although I do not find that the permanent elbow restriction hinders recreational activity, the plaintiff’s right shoulder injury caused pain when swimming until June 2005. The plaintiff suffered while he waited for surgery between 2003-2006. I assess non-pecuniary damages at $85,000.