22 Mar ICBC Disputes Plaintiff’s Injuries Connected to Accident

The Plaintiff in the case of Kim v. Lin, 2016 BCSC 2405, brought a claim for damages for injuries she suffered in a motor vehicle accident. The Defendants admitted liability for the accident but disputed that some of her present difficulties were connected to the accident.

The Plaintiff’s evidence was that she suffered soft tissue injuries in the accident, including a debilitating injury to the ligaments and tendons around her sacroiliac joints. In addition, she claimed to suffer from psychological injuries caused by the accident, including somatic symptom disorder, an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depression.  The onus was on the Plaintiff to prove that these injuries were caused or contributed to by the accident.

The Defendants agreed that the Plaintiff had suffered soft tissue injuries in the accident but felt that the main cause of her present medical difficulties was pre-existing arthritis in her sacroiliac joints, which has no substantial connection to the accident. The onus was on the Defendants to prove this. The Defendants argued in the alternative that there was a substantial possibility that the Plaintiff’s pre-existing arthritic condition would have worsened at some point in the future, even if she had not been injured.

The Judge found in favour of the Plaintiff and agreed that there was a substantial connection between the Plaintiff’s injuries and the accident.  The Judge also found that the Plaintiff was not suffering from any pre-existing condition that would have developed into the disabilities she now suffered, had the accident not occurred.

The Judge found that before the accident, the Plaintiff was a healthy young woman with no significant medical issues.  She and her husband enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle and had a number of friends with whom they socialized on a regular basis.  The Judge awarded the Plaintiff $175,000 in damages for her pain and suffering.