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Best Surrey ICBC Personal Injury Tips To Maximize Your Money Settlement 

MacLean Law Surrey ICBC Personal Injury lawyers

MacLean Law Surrey and Vancouver ICBC Personal Injury lawyers member, Tal Wolf

We know you never expect to be in a car accident that changes your life forever but when you suffer a Surrey ICBC Personal Injury, it’s critical your story is properly told to ensure the judge and jury hearing your case relates to your tragedy. We act across BC and meet with you for free.

Sometimes Surrey ICBC Personal Injury  adjustors  go too far in discounting how much you’ve lost as a result of a personal injury accident. Or their defense lawyers simply blame you for what happened. During these times, you need a trial lawyer in your corner to remind the Surrey ICBC Personal Injury defence lawyers  that if they refuse to make the right decision and offer you fair and reasonable compensation, then a jury is going to be making that decision.

MacLean Law Lawyers Will help You Tell Your Story Effectively

At MacLean Law, our seasoned trial lawyers know that persuasive courtroom presentation is about story-telling in a serious Surrey ICBC Personal Injury case. Putting a witness on the stand just to tell us in an abstract, or general way “He doesn’t do many activities anymore,” or “he’s not that happy these days,” will have a far less powerful effect on jurors than the witness from whom testimony is elicited to say, for example,

We used to go shopping and she insisted that I follow her into every store the place had to offer.   During the holiday season before the year when she was in the accident, her sisters, and me and even her kids eventually just dropped all the stuff we had bought and collapsed onto benches – we were famished and tired. But she just kept right on shopping. We even nicknamed her the Energizer bunny. Just last week, though, when I took her to that same mall, she was so worn out just from the trip over there that sitting on the bench while I shopped seemed to be about all that she could do….”

When anecdotes and real life experiences are brought out, there is little that even the best defense lawyers can do to weaken the impression they have made on jurors in their Surrey ICBC Personal Injury. A recent case in the BC Supreme Court demonstrates how the accident victim’s story, and how her life had been changed by her injuries, had a far greater impact on the court’s assessment of non-pecuniary damages than a dry recitation of her bodily injuries.

Buckle v. Raworth, 2015 BCSC 989 was a motor vehicle lawsuit for personal injuries sustained. Although it was a bench (i.e. judge) trial, without a jury, the court’s reasoning illustrates just how much the storyline matters.

In Buckle, the plaintiff was a front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband. Their car was at a stand-still behind other vehicles, when the driver coming from behind failed to stop, colliding with the plaintiff from behind. In this accident, liability was admitted – the sole issue was damages. The court began by setting forth the typical laundry list of considerations for general damages (those are the harms that you can’t get receipts for, or add up on a calculator):

[62] The factors (some overlapping) that the court should consider when assessing general damages are outlined in Stapley v. Hejslet, 2006 BCCA 34 at para. 46:

·       (a) age of the plaintiff

·       (b)nature of the injury;

·       (c)severity and duration of pain;

·       (d)disability;

·       (e)emotional suffering;

·       (f)loss or impairment of life;

·       (g)impairment of family, marital, and social relationships;

·       (h)impairment of physical or mental abilities;

·       (i)loss of lifestyle; and

·       (j)the plaintiff’s stoicism.

However, the court quickly abandoned the abstract technical analysis and focused simply on what the plaintiff actually had been going through as a result of her injuries:

66     Mrs. Buckle is now 63 years old. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck, right arm and shoulder and low back, and severe migraine headaches, as a result of the rear-end collision on July 21, 2012. She continues to suffer neck pain, constant pain in her right upper arm and shoulder, and migraine headaches two to three times a week. Her headaches had largely resolved after treatments by Dr. Frobb in the spring of 2013, but, for some unexplained reason, returned after she received a cortisone shot at the beginning of 2014. Mrs. Buckle now sleeps in a recliner in the living room because of the pain in her right arm and shoulder. She no longer engages in most of the activities that bring enjoyment to her life: she no longer has her children and grandchildren over for dinner every Sunday, decorates cakes, gardens, volunteers at church, socializes with friends, shares the activities she used to share with her husband, including swimming, cycling, and going for long walks.

67     It was obvious to me that not being able to share her life with her grandchildren as she used to, or want to, is a huge source of emotional pain, grief, and frustration for Mrs. Buckle.

68     The defendant argues that Mrs. Buckle has failed to mitigate her damages, by not following up with Dr. Telfer, by not seeing Dr. Frobb and Kia after August 8, 2013, and by not seeing Dr. Schuurman from March 20, 2014 to February 17, 2015.

69     Dr. Schuurman testified that a cortisone injection is not a healing remedy. It is used to control the symptoms and reduce inflammation for a time. She also testified that it is not necessary for patients to return to her if their symptoms have plateaued; she felt Mrs. Buckle’s symptoms had plateaued.

71     Mrs. Buckle testified that the cortisone shot was so painful that she did not want to return, and she felt she was going backwards after the cortisone shot: her headaches returned, her right shoulder became worse, and her left arm and shoulder started giving her problems. She felt the cortisone shot made her symptoms worse — not better. Her refusal to return for another cortisone shot is reasonable in the circumstances. Moreover, Dr. Telfer is a specialist. If there is to be any follow-up, it must be on Dr. Schurrman’s recommendation or referral.

72     In my view, the defendant has not proved that Mrs. Buckle acted unreasonably in not wanting another cortisone injection….

74     I conclude that an appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $65,000. 

In catastrophic Surrey ICBC Personal Injury  cases, for example, the personal injury lawyers at MacLean Law commonly present our client their friends and distant family members to share mini-stories that show differences in the family dynamic before and after the accident. Most jurors already know what it’s like to see a loved one suffer and struggle – but they would not know just how the injuries to the Surrey ICBC Personal Injury victim has compromised the day-to-day lives of our injured client, or how their relationship with their peers, clients, family members and partners was brutally changed forever as a result of the accident.

No matter how slight or severe your Surrey ICBC personal injury, non-pecuniary or general damages (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life) often constitutes the major value component of your claim. Make sure your lawyer knows how to tell your story, so that the full measure of injuries – not just to your body but to your life – are accounted for properly.

At MacLean Personal Injury Law we know when you are injured it’s not just about the money, it’s about justice and then it’s about the money. Call us at 604-576-5400 to get the assistance you need to tell your compelling Surrey ICBC personal injury story.

 



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