In this Vancouver car crash injury claim (Olianka v. Spagnol,2011 BCSC 1013) the ICBC injury claimant was seeking compensation resulting from injuries he suffered when the car he was driving was hit from behind at the intersection of King Edward Avenue and Valley Drive in Vancouver. The other driver admited fault for the car accident and the purpose of this summary trial was to determine the quantum of damages i.e. the level of compensation.
What is a summary trial? A summary trial allows an injury claimant to present their case, without having to attend a trial in person in front of a judge or jury. The personal injury lawyer representing the claimant presents the case including the evidence, argument and supporting law. Unless the court otherwise orders, on a summary trial application under Rule 9-7, the injury claimant can rely on evidence in the following ways:
(b) an answer, or part of an answer, to interrogatories;
(c) any part of the evidence taken on an examination for discovery;
(d) an admission under Rule 7-7;
(e) a report setting out the opinion of an expert, if
(i) the report conforms with Rule 11-6 (1), or
(ii) the court orders that the report is admissible even though it does not conform with Rule 11-6 (1).
The injury claimant in this case suffered a moderate soft tissue injury to the neck, a moderate soft tissue injury to the mid-back and a mild soft tissue injury to his lower back. The judge accepted the evidence with respect to the accident related injuries and that the injuries precluded the claimant from working for a four-month period. The court also accepted that the claimant continued to experience intermittent pain in his neck and upper back but had made a significant recovery from his injuries. The family doctor did not expect the claimant to suffer any permanent consequences from his collision-related injuries. In making an award for pain and suffering the court stated,
“I find that the appropriate award for Mr. Olianka’s non-pecuniary damages is $30,000, taking into account all contingencies, given the extent of the soft tissue injuries to his neck and back, the disability period of 27 months post-collision, as well as the lingering and ongoing aspect of his injuries, the limitations that the injuries imposed, not just on his ability to work, but also on his ability to partake in those physical activities which occupied his life prior to the collision and which he has only recently been able to resume albeit to a limited extent.” The judge awarded the following:
Pain and suffering: $30,000.00
Past loss of income (lost earning capacity): $2,000.00
Special damages: $1,200.00
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness