07 Oct Plaintiff with a Complex Pre-Accident Social History

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was a law-abiding citizen who had a steady job with no unemployment history, no previous injuries and no medical conditions?  But the fact of the matter is that people’s lives are complicated.  Because that’s the case, determining an appropriate damage award in court can also be complex. The court has to look at each individual plaintiff and consider their specific set of circumstances when deciding on an award.

In Hall-Smith v. Yamelst, 2015 BCSC 1640, the Plaintiff was injured while travelling as a taxi passenger in February, 2009.  She alleged various injuries including neck, back, groin, hip, knee, headaches and inability to focus.  The Plaintiff had a complex pre-accident history, including no work history, an education limited to grade eight, a criminal record and a criminal illicit drug lifestyle.

In assessing pain and suffering, the Court noted that simply because the Plaintiff was injured in a low velocity accident did not rule out an injury.  However, the Court considered the Plaintiff substantially recovered by December, 2011.  The Court reached this conclusion based on the Plaintiff’s ability to return to school, start work, maintain full-time employment and start a stable family life.  She also participated in sports and other activities.

Considering all the evidence, the Court awarded the Plaintiff $20,000 for pain and suffering.

The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims for past wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, loss of housekeeping and cost of future care.  The court decided none of the accident-related injuries supported an award for these damages.

Whether your pre-accident life is complicated or uncomplicated, we can help.  With 35 years of experience we understand how to get you the results you deserve, so please give us a call.


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