A claimants’s emotional pain from learning about the death of a loved one in a car crash is typically insufficient to make the legal connection for compensation with ICBC. In this article I am addressing injury claims that friends and family members of car accident victims make against ICBC for emotional trauma. Also watch my short video about claiming money for stress after a car accident.
Court awards for pain and suffering can however include compensation for a psychiatric injury and car accident claims against ICBC are not limited to physical injuries. However, money for nervous shock cannot be awarded without exposure to a “shocking” experience rather than just to one of its consequences.
The law in British Columbia requires that a claimant, in order to succeed in getting compensation for stress after a car accident, to experience something more than the surprise and other emotional responses that naturally flow from learning of the death of a friend or relative. There must be something more than grief, sorrow and loss that ordinarily follow the receipt of such information. The experience must be alarming and startling (and therefore sudden and unexpected), horrifying, shocking and frightening. Judge Southin referred to it as “fright, terror or horror”.
Many eminent judges in BC have extended the immediate aftermath of a casualty to the hospital however attending almost immediately at the hospital for the purpose of identifying the body of a deceased relative falls outside the “aftermath” of a car accident and will not usually result in compensation. Take a read of my article about compensation for nervous shock after car accident.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A., LL.B.