Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for chronic soft tissue injuries and headaches following a collision.
In today’s case (Snidal v. Spires) the Plaintiff, who was 20 at the time, was involved in a 2010 collision in Parksville BC. The Defendant admitted fault. The Plaintiff suffered persistent soft tissue injuries and headaches which were partly disabling and not expected to improve. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $85,000 Mr. Justice Fitch provided the following reasons:
 The accident caused persistent soft tissue injuries to the plaintiff’s neck, back and right shoulder. She continues to experience neck, back and shoulder pain – particularly along the top of her right shoulder. She has suffered from headaches since the accident, some of which are debilitating…
 The plaintiff is a young woman. More than four years from the date of the accident, she continues to experience fairly constant pain and occasionally debilitating headaches. Although her symptoms have likely plateaued, they are now chronic in nature and will be a permanent and regular feature of her daily existence.
 The plaintiff is no longer able to enjoy her favourite recreational activities, nor the active lifestyle she once enjoyed.
 She has become more withdrawn. Her self-esteem and sense of self-worth were seriously compromised in the aftermath of the accident.
 She experienced a major depressive disorder attributable to the accident and will likely experience some residual, but manageable, symptoms of that disorder in the future.
 In all the circumstances of this case, and applying the factors in Stapley v. Hejslet, I consider an award of $85,000 for non-pecuniary damages to be just and appropriate.