Surrey ICBC whiplash Injury Lawyer 604-576-5400
Surrey ICBC whiplash injury is a neck injury caused by a forcible movement of the head, either forwards, backwards or sideways. A Surrey ICBC Whiplash commonly occurs in Surrey traffic accidents, especially rear end collisions. A Surrey ICBC Whiplash can be quite painful and signs and symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, decreased range of motion in the neck, headaches, and pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms. Some Surrey car accident victims who suffer Surrey ICBC whiplash injuries recover quickly while others will experience chronic symptoms from their Surrey ICBC whiplash injury years after the injury occurred.
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Surrey ICBC whiplash injury
In the recent case (Matharu v. Gill 2016 BCSC 624) the Plaintiff suffered moderate soft tissue injuries to her neck and shoulder resulting from whiplash in a traffic accident which the Defendant was found liable for. The symptoms the Plaintiff suffered lasted throughout the trial and were expected to continue indefinitely. The defendant recognized the fact that that Ms. Matharu suffered soft tissue injuries as a result of the accident, but claimed that any persisting symptoms experienced by Ms. Matharu were caused by her pre-existing conditions of inflammatory polyarthritis, osteoporosis, anemia and anxiety disorder. As a result of the parties’ positions, liability and damages were challenged at the trial of this action.
BC Supreme Court Awards over $40,000 for Surrey ICBC Whiplash Injury
Mr. Justice Butler awarded damages of $45,000 in the Surrey ICBC whiplash injury case but then reduced it by 10% because Ms Matharu did not follow all the recommndations of experts that could have led her to recover more quickly or fully. Our Surrey ICBC whiplash injury lawyers can explain the defences ICBC lawyers will use and why it is so important for you to be treated by the best doctors, therapists, psychologists and the like so you recover from your Surrey ICBC whiplash injury that was not your fault.
In his decision Mr. Justice Butler set out his reasons for reaching his conclusion on the pain and suffering award portion related to Ms Matharu’s Surrey ICBC whiplash injury because she suffered:
- moderate soft tissue strain to her neck and shoulders;
- mild low back strain;
- she had pre-existing conditions including inflammatory polyarthropathy;
- mild anxiety condition also had some impact on the persistence of her symptoms;
- she continued to experience symptoms related to the injuries suffered in the accident although there was a good chance they will fully resolve within the next one to two year;
- she didn’t fully follow doctor’s advice or undertake an exercise program.
 When I examine the circumstances in this case and the factors highlighted in Stapley, the important factors here are the length of time Ms. Matharu has suffered ongoing soft tissue pain, the extent of that pain, and the impact it has had on her ongoing activities. In that regard, I accept that she is stoic and has continued to do most things. However, I also find that she was frail and somewhat limited in what she could do before the accident. Accordingly, the injuries have imposed a limitation on her activities and lifestyle which has impacted her more than such injuries would have done to someone who was more vigorous and did not suffer from inflammatory polyarthropathy.
 In all of the circumstances, I conclude that a fair award for non-pecuniary damages is $45,000. However, that does not end the matter. Ms. Matharu did not follow Dr. Sanghera’s recommendations and I have accepted his evidence that had she done so she would likely have had some improvement in her symptoms. Accordingly, I find the defendant has satisfied the onus to prove that Ms. Matharu failed to mitigate her loss. I would accordingly reduce the non-pecuniary damage award by 10%.