08 Sep Neck and Back Soft Tissue Injuries

In Virk v. Robertson, 2016 BCSC 1458, the Court considered a 27 year-old Plaintiff’s personal injury claim relating to a 2013 motor vehicle accident.

The Plaintiff had been injured in a 2009 rear end collision in which there was minimal damage to her vehicle.  She sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back in that accident.  The Plaintiff claimed to have recovered from these injuries by the time she was involved in a second accident in 2013, in which she again injured her neck and upper back.

By the time of trial, the Plaintiff did not have any ongoing functional limitations.  She worked full-time as a human resources administrator and her injuries did not impact her job performance.  However, by the end of her work day she was sore.

ICBC argued that the Plaintiff’s injuries related to the 2009 collision, not the litigated 2013 collision.  However, the Court accepted the Plaintiff’s testimony that she had recovered from the 2009 collision.  The Court also accepted that there was a substantial possibility that the Plaintiff would improve if she undertook the recommended exercise program to improve her deconditioning.

In assessing her pain and suffering, the Court considered the injuries and the negative impact they had on her enjoyment of life.  Her injuries had caused her emotional distress, and had a negative impact on her family relationships and work satisfaction.  Considering these factors, the Court awarded her $70,000 for pain and suffering.

After assessing the other heads of damages, the Court awarded damages as follows:

Non-Pecuniary Damages$  70,000
Loss of Past Earning Capacity $  30,000
Loss of Future Income Earning Capacity$  50,000
Cost of Future Care$    5,000
Special Damages$    1,090