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Low Velocity Car Accident Injury Claimant Gets Low Money Award

 

 

In this low velocity car accident injury case (Naidu v. Gill,2012 BCSC 1461) the injury claimant waited over one year to report his accident to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC. The accident took place when the claimant was rear ended near the intersection of 88th Avenue and Fraser Highway in Surrey, BC. 
This personal injury claim was filed under Rule 15-1 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, “Fast Track Litigation”. 

ICBC’s position was that this was a low impact collision and the injury claimant suffered little or no injury. The claimant said that he suffered pain in his shoulders, neck and lower back which was caused by the accident and it persists to the date of the trial. The damage to the claimant’s vehicle was slight and he cost of repairs was $534.17. The only damage visible is a hole in the rear bumper approximately ¾ inch in diameter. 
The Supreme Court judge found that the claimant was not a “particularly reliable historian”. ICBC argued that the injuries were so minor that the court ought not to compensate the claimant. However,  the court was clear that the fact the car crash was at low velocity does not rule out injuries and the court quoted Lubick v. Mei and another, 2008 BCSC 555, in which Judge Macaulay said:  
[5] The Courts have long debunked as myth the suggestion that low impact can be directly correlated with lack of compensable injury. In Gordon v. Palmer, [1993] B.C.J. No. 474 (S.C.), Thackary J., as he then was, made the following comments that are still apposite today: 

I do not subscribe to the view that if there is no motor vehicle damage then there is no injury. This is a philosophy that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may follow, but it has no application in court. It is not a legal principle of which I am aware and I have never heard it endorsed as a medical principle. 

The judge found the claimant suffered an injury, but a very minor one, and only awarded the injury claimant $4,000.00 for pain and suffering. The injury claimant did not discharged the onus of proving that his symptoms at the time of trial were caused by the accident. 
This is yet another case that stands for a warning to injury claimants in British Columbia to obtain proper legal advice early into an injury claim. Also, the lack of proper evidence and expert opinion led the court to make certain legal conclusions that resulted in this case being worth very little. 
 Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness B.A, LL.B  

Tags: Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Neck Pain, Pain and Suffering, Prior Condition, Soft tissue injury

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