In this personal injury summary trial(Thomson v. Hunt) the injury claimant was seeking compensation for injuries that he sustained in a motor vehicle collision in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The car accident occurred when it was dark and the roads were wet. The other driver was southbound at the intersection of Dawes Hill Road and Monashee Court in Coquitlam, when the front driver’s side panel of his car struck the rear driver’s side of the claimant’s 1998 GMC Sierra pick-up truck. The impact caused the injury claimant’s truck to swing around and it ended up against a retaining wall on the other side of the street, facing slightly uphill.
The injury claimant’s statement to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, given ten days after the accident, indicates that he saw headlights coming from a car behind him at the crest as he was turning left and that the crest is 12 houses uphill from where he was. ICBC tried to claim that his ICBC statement was inconsistent with the evidence given at trial.
The judge however found that the most likely sequence of events was that the other driver approached the site of the collision at a speed in excess of 40 kilometres per hour, which, having regard to the configuration of Dawes Hill Road, caused him to collide with the claimant, who sought to enter the road after having properly checked for oncoming traffic. Accordingly, I the other driver was found to have been in breach of his duty of care was the cause of the collision. With respect to the value of the personal injury casethe judge was of the view that the injury claimant’s lifestyle before the car accident was rather inactive and that an award in this case did not need to reflect any loss of an ability to engage in vigorous physical activity during the acute stages of the injuries sustained.
Bearing in mind that the injury claimant’s continuing symptoms were not serious enough to require further medical attention the judge found that the injury lasted about nine months. The essentially collision caused pain and discomfort in his left shoulder, his left arm to his elbow, his neck and between his shoulder blades for under one year. The injury claimant was awarded the following:
Pain and Suffering $20,000.00
Loss of income $15,544.00
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should an ICBC statements be allowed to be used in personal injury car accident trials in British Columbia?