When suing an at fault party in a personal injury claim the Plaintiff is entitled to compensation for their reasonable medical expenses. These expenses may include the cost of driving to and from various medical and therapy appointments. How much is a reasonable amount to claim for transportation costs? Reasons for judgement were released today addressing this topic.
In today’s case (Greewal-Cheema v. Tassone) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2007 BC motor vehicle accident. Her vehicle was rear-ended. Fault was admitted by the rear motorist. The trial focused on the value of her ICBC claim.
The crash caused soft tissue injuries which largely recovered by the time of trial and the Plaintiff was awarded $25,000 for her pain and suffering. In the course of recovering from her injuries the Plaintiff attended various therapies and claimed reimbursement at $0.50 per kilometer for the travel incurred in driving to and from these appointments. ICBC argued that this was excessive and that no more than $.30 per kilometer should be allowed. Mr. Justice Stewart disagreed with ICBC and found that the Plaintiff claimed a reasonable amount for her mileage related expenses. In reaching this conclusion the Court provided the following useful comments:
 The plaintiff claims special damages of $2,683.50. The defendants take issue with only a few things. The defendants say that the amount allowed for mileage should be $.30 per kilometre not $.50 per kilometre. Both counsel refer to the Schedules that form part of the Rules of Court. I am not bound by the Rules on this point. I say that what matters is that judges live in the real world. In this day and age $.50 per kilometre is, if anything, too little. I am against the defendants. $.50 per kilometre it will be. The defendants also made a submission about the period June 5, 2008 to August 25, 2008 and what the plaintiff was about during her “voluntary work strengthening program”. Simply put, I found the defendants’ submission unconvincing. I accept the plaintiff’s testimony to the effect that she worked hard and diligently and treated what she was about as if it were her job. In the result I award the plaintiff $2,683.50 by way of special damages.