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Pregnant ICBC Personal Injury Claimant Entitled to Award for Pain and Suffering


A pregnant car accident claimant can  experience severe upset regarding the potential effects of the accident on her unborn child and the effects of her physical injuries on her ability to carry her child to term. The ICBC injury claimant’s treatment can also be complicated by her pregnancy and the subsequent birth.
ICBC and other insurance companies will often try to minimize the claim by blaming the pregnancy for all the low back pain and changes in mood. However the reality is much different as the pregnancy will often prevent the injury claimant from taking pain medication and other treatment which actually result in the injury lasting longer.
In Tugnait v. Li, 2005 BCSC 226 at the time of the accident, the plaintiff was three months pregnant with her second child. She suffered soft-tissue injuries to her neck, shoulders, upper back and lower back. Her pregnancy and de-conditioned state from her previous pregnancy exacerbated her injuries and contributed to the delay in her recovery. The ICBC injury claimant returned to her previous active lifestyle and the medical opinion was for full recovery from her injuries near the date of the personal injury trial approximately two years after the injury.
When awarding $30,000.00 to the injury claimant for pain and suffering Justice Smith stated:

“[28] In this case, I am satisfied the plaintiff will likely enjoy a full recovery from her injuries by three years post accident. However, that recovery has been delayed because of her de-conditioned state from her first pregnancy and her pregnancy at the time of the accident. These circumstances fall within the “thin skull” rule that requires a tortfeasor to take his victim as he finds her. Moreover, the plaintiff’s injuries significantly impacted her enjoyment of her second pregnancy.”Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness

Issue: Should Pregnant claimants get compensated for the additional pain and suffering?

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