Personal Injury News

How Much Compensation Should I Get as an Elderly Injury Claimant for My Pain and Suffering?

As a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver I have represented many clients ages 70 and over and I am familiar with some of the unique issues that arise after a car accident in assessing appropriate compensation for the elderly. In this post I’d like to look at a recent  falling injury case(Etson v. Loblaw Companies Limited (Real Canadian Superstore), in which  the 78 year old injury claimant tripped, fell and broke her hip. I just reviewed this case analysing  the finding of fault against Superstore but this post will focus on the award for pain and suffering.
In this case the lawyer for Superstore was not able to take the position that the claimant would not have enjoyed her pre-accident activity level for a long future period of time given her age. There was no evidence in this case that the claimant would not have continued to enjoy her active and independent life style for many years to come. In the Court’s view, this was a case where the claimant’s injuries could be viewed as,” more profound due to her age. In Pingitore v. Luk, [1994] B.C.J. No. 1866 (S.C.), the court noted (at para. 36) that “[i]njury to older people is, from at least one vantage, more profound than injury to the younger” and referred to these comments in a decision of the Court of Appeal of England, in Frank v. Cox (1967), 111 S.J. 670:

I take the view myself that when one has a person in advancing years, in some respects an impairment of movement may perhaps be more serious that it is with a younger person. It is true, as Mr. Chedlow has stressed, that he has not got as many years before him through which he has to live with this discomfort, pain and impairment of movement. But it is important to bear in mind that as one advances in life one’s pleasures and activities particularly do become more limited, and any substantial impairment in the limited amount of activity and movement which a person can undertake, in my view, becomes all the more serious on that account.”

The judge found that  the injuries had a profound effect on the claimant’s life.  Her active and independent life style, which was important to her, was seriously compromised for over a year and a half.  During that time she experienced significant pain and had to undergo three surgeries.  By the time of the trial she was able to resume most of her former activities but with residual effects.  The judge awarded the claimant  $90,000 for pain and suffering. Posted by Mr.Renn A. Holness


One responseHow Much Compensation Should I Get as an Elderly Injury Claimant for My Pain and Suffering?

  • Personal Injury Lawyers Get More Money for Seniors and the Elderly- The Golden Years Doctrine | Holness Law Group

    September 12, 2014 3:57am

    [...] represented numerous elderly ICBC injury claimants, take a look at some of my other articles about compensating the elderly for pain and suffering . Also go further and learn more by checking out our short video about brain injury in the [...]

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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