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South Surrey and White Rock Personal Injury Lawyers

When two cars crash in an ICBC motor vehicle injury case, it’s no surprise that the drivers of these vehicles will have different impressions and versions of the event and who was at fault.

South Surrey and White Rock Personal Injury Lawyers Explain How Judges Decide Credibility

Our South Surrey and White Rock Personal Injury Lawyers will assess the evidence from your crash and will develop a compelling legal strategy to help you win on the issue of liability and to maximize any money recovery for you the victim. Meet with us for free now to find out what you are entitled to.

Other witnesses and crash experts can help determine what exactly happened in the car crash. However, the victim’s evidence of their crash and the evidence the injured Plaintiff provides of the injuries they suffered, their symptoms and their recovery or lack thereof to their medical doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, brain injury trauma and spinal cord paralysis experts and the Judge is critical.

Judges Deciding South Surrey and White Rock Personal Injury Cases Watch And Listen Carefully To Witnesses

Most victims do their best to accurately describe their symptoms and how the accident has affected them in terms of pain and suffering. They also need to tell the court about the  financial losses they have suffered in lost income, career opportunities and increased care and medical costs. Judges are trained to assess the witnesses giving evidence on both sides of the case during their trial to enable the Judge to come to the best possible finding of facts. Inaccuracies and misstatements can cost one side in the court case dearly.

The Law On Assessing credibility in BC Personal Injury Cases

Here is a summary of what judges do to ensure justice is done in a South Surrey and White Rock Personal Injury case.

…In Bergen v. Guliker, 2014 BCSC 5, the court stated:

24 In gauging a witness’ evidence, a court may, inter alia, consider the factors summarized by Thomson J. in Unique Tool & Gauge Inc. v. Impact Tool & Mould Inc., [2002] O.J. No. 681 (S.C.J.) at para. 121:

[121] … [The witness’] ability and opportunity to observe; his appearance and manner while testifying; his power of recollection; any interest, bias or prejudice he may have; any inconsistencies in his testimony and, the reasonableness of his testimony, when considered in the light of its harmony with the preponderance of the probabilities that the evidence was credible, believable and reliable.
Justice Thomson’s credibility analysis was upheld on appeal: Unique Tool & Gauge Inc. v. Impact Tool & Mould Inc., 2003 CanLII 16539 (O.N.C.A)

25 A witness’ interests are a relevant factor to consider in assessing credibility. However, as Rowles J.A. said in R. v. R.W.B., 24 B.C.A.C. 1, [1993] B.C.J. No. 758 at para. 28:
[28] … Whether a witness has a motive to lie is one factor which may be considered in assessing the credibility of a witness, but it is not the only factor to be considered. … it is essential that the credibility and reliability of the [witness’] evidence be tested in the light of all of the other evidence presented.

26 In Ng v. Ng, 2011 BCSC 192, Cullen J., as he was then, rejected the evidence of one witness as flawed because “it relies on the mechanism of coincidence, it includes improbable and elaborate explanations to explain away telling circumstances and, in connection with [certain evidence] it relies on a manufactured foundation” (para. 326).

27 In R. v. Béland, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 398, McIntyre J., writing for the majority, said at 418-419:
… in the resolution of disputes in litigation, issues of credibility will be decided by human triers of fact, using their experience of human affairs and basing judgment upon their assessment of the witness and on consideration of how an individual’s evidence fits into the general picture revealed on a consideration of the whole of the case.

28 In Faryna v. Chorny (1951), [1952] 2 D.L.R. 354 (BCCA), O’Halloran J.A. observed at 357:
The credibility of interested witnesses, particularly in cases of conflict of evidence, cannot be gauged solely by the test of whether the personal demeanour of the particular witness carried conviction of the truth. The test must reasonably subject [the witness’] story to an examination of its consistency with the probabilities that surround the currently existing conditions. In short, the real test of the truth of the story of a witness in such a case must be its harmony with the preponderance of the probabilities which a practical and informed person would readily recognize as reasonable in that place and in those conditions. …
29 How does a trier of fact assess what evidence is in “harmony with the preponderance of the probabilities”?

As Ryan J.A. recently stated in her concurring reasons in R. v. Sue, 2011 BCCA 91 at para. 47:
[47] Doubtless, a skilled liar or a good actor can easily feign sincerity. But it is also the case that most people of average intelligence can tailor a story to fit the circumstances if they put their minds to it. Thus, a trier of fact will test a story for both its logic and, with the appropriate cautions, the manner in which it was told.

Call our lawyers now at 604-576-5400 to ensure you understand what the rules are to ensure you make sound recovery and obtain a solid financial settlement.



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