In this personal injury case (Cripps v. Overend) the claimant suffered personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident on 168th Street in Surrey, British Columbia but failed to take adequate steps to rehabilitate after his injury. The accident was a T-bone impact from another driver that came through a stop sign at a high speed. The impact caused the truck to spin in a circle and fly across a ditch and the claimant was jolted and his body impacted the interior of the truck. The other driver admitted that he was at fault but denies the claimant suffered a serious injury. The claimant told the ICBC adjuster that he engaged in no extra-curricular activities which likely affected how ICBC dealt with this claim.
The injury claimant asserted that pain from his injuries caused him to have a limited tolerance for sitting, standing,and walking, and has caused him pain and discomfort in his job, in his enjoyment of life with his family, and in his leisure activities. Gradually, over about six months the claimant recovered from most of his injuries. However, four and a half years after the accident he continues to experience lower back pain. As part of the award the court gave the claimant $75,000.00 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
On the facts the court found that the most likely outcome is that the injury will not suffer any actual loss of employment as the result of the accident. He was promoted to a less physically active position one year after the accident, and experienced a pay increase as a result. Although his employer expressed satisfaction with his job performance there is a remote possibility that the claimant may not be able to continue in his present employment, either because he does not like his job and would prefer to work outdoors, or because in the event his company falls upon economic hard times he may have difficulty finding accommodation from a sympathetic employer.The Judge however was not impressed with the claimant’s lack of effort when it came to treating the injuries. An injury claimant’s award can be reduced by an unreasonable failure of the injured party to take reasonable steps to limit the loss. The Judge found that the claimant failed in his duty to mitigate his loss by not exercising consistently and getting active. The judge reduced the award by 25% for failure to mitigate. ICBC may well have offered to fund recommended treatment but the claimant may have made his own reckless decision not to bother with treatment.
The Court awarded the injury claimant a total of $141,566.24 with a 25% reduction for failure to mitigate. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness