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Surrey Pre-existing Personal Injury

How Are Surrey Pre-existing Personal Injury Cases Decided? What happens if you already suffered from pain at the time of the accident? This issue was dealt with in the recent case of McCartney v. McArthur, 2014 BCSC 2164 where the Plaintiff was at a complete stop in traffic when his vehicle was rear-ended and pushed him into the vehicle in front. There was minor damage to the vehicles involved, however the Plaintiff suffered injuries including a whiplash injury to his neck.

At the time of the Accident, the Plaintiff already had a number of health issues. He weighed 220lbs, led a sedentary lifestyle, suffered from obesity, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. He also had suffered from neck pain on and off going back as far as 20 years before the accident and had visited a chiropractor for neck complaints a few days before the accident. However, the collision caused his symptoms to increase to the point where they became chronic and negatively affected his function. The court found that the rear end collision caused the Plaintiff to suffer a significant aggravation in his neck condition and the symptoms he experienced were “different and far worse” than before the accident.  Mr. Justice Bowden stated as follows in assessing damages for pain and suffering:

[76]         I have concluded that the plaintiff suffered aggravation to his neck pain as a result of the accident and his pain has become chronic in nature. For the first time, the pain that the plaintiff suffers imposes some functional limitations on him. [77]         The evidence also establishes that the plaintiff went from an outgoing pleasant person to someone who was easily irritated by other people. This has interfered with his ability to work effectively as a cabinet salesman. [78]         I am satisfied that the accident has negatively affected the quality and enjoyment of the plaintiff’s life and that may continue indefinitely. He will likely continue to suffer pain, together with the associated deleterious effects on his enjoyment of life. [79]         After considering the relevant case law referred to by counsel and keeping in mind that the award in each case is very dependent upon the unique facts of the case, I award the plaintiff $75,000 in non-pecuniary damages.

When you are hurt you are entitled to be treated with respect and compassion by ICBC and its adjustors and defence lawyers. Rest assured that our Surrey Surrey Pre-existing Personal Injury will advocate firmly and tenaciously so you get the largest possible fair money judgement in your favour. We’ll drive a hard bargain on settlement or at trial.



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