Injured party awarded $177,177.63 for “whiplash associated disorder”.

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/16/11/2016BCSC1162.htm

After suffering injuries in a motor vehicle accident, over 5 years ago, a plaintiff was awarded $177,177.63 in damages. An orthopaedic expert she hired diagnosed her with a “whiplash associated disorder” and stated that although she was likely to see improvement in her condition, her injuries may never fully resolve.

This case was complicated by a few issues and required competent and experienced counsel to effectively resolve. The plaintiff in this case had a medical history that included some pre-existing neck and back pain. The plaintiff had also actually increased her working hours after the accident. Despite this, the plaintiff was still able to secure a sizeable award, not only for non-pecuniary damages (AKA pain and suffering) but also for loss of future earnings. The judge relied on evidence from the plaintiff’s experts – including both orthopaedic surgeons and functional capacity experts hired by the plaintiff – to come to the conclusion that there was a “real and substantial possibility” that the plaintiff was likely to lose income in the future.

This case once again illustrates how whiplash injuries can escalate into injuries that can have a profound affect on the life of an injured party. This case also illustrates the difficulty in judging the worth of a whiplash case and the importance of hiring proper representation.

Whiplash: what kind of compensation are you entitled to?

As per this recent example, awards for whiplash injuries can be very high:

http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2016/2016bcsc1122/2016bcsc1122.pdf

The plaintiff in this action was awarded over $500,000. She retained a very knowledgeable expert in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Heather Finlayson. Dr. Finlayson, in her medical report, stated that whiplash injuries involve “rapid movements of the head and neck forwards and backwards and/or side-to-side and can cause “high-velocity stretch of muscles and their attachments, such that the muscles go into painful spasm“. Whiplash type injuries can lead to various chronic injuries – in this case, myofascial pain syndrome.

What this case illustrates is that, when assessing damages, it is not necessarily the mechanism of the injury that is important but the effect on the injured party. In other words, no two whiplash cases are the same and every case must be assessed on its individual merits. For example, two people involved in the same accident might both suffer whiplash-type injuries. One person may heal very quickly and the injury may have relatively little impact on their lives. As a result, the award for their damages is likely to be relatively low. Another person might suffer far more long term and disabling injuries, resulting in severe limitations to their professional and personal lives. They would likely be entitled to a relatively high award.

RCMP pull over couple engaged in sexual act while driving. License & registration take longer than expected to produce.

Richmond RCMP recently pulled over a couple engaged in a sexual act while driving.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/police-stop-car-sex-1.3622677

Richmond RCMP  provided the following Tweet about the situation: 

In reply to a follow up Tweet asking if the couple had received a ticket, Richmond RCMP simply Tweeted back “Yes”. The driver was given a $368 ticket for driving without due care and attention and a $167 fine for a seat belt violation. The driver would most likely have been ticketed under the following sections of the Motor Vehicle Act:

Careless driving prohibited

144  (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway

(a) Without due care and attention,

Seat belt assembly

220

(4) A person in a motor vehicle being driven or operated on a highway must, if the motor vehicle has properly attached to it a seat belt assembly for the seating position occupied by that person, wear the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.

From a lawyer’s perspective, although this story has a humorous angle, this amounts to some pretty reckless behaviour. It’s always best to avoid an accident in the first place and avoid legal proceedings all together