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$115,000 Somatic Symptom Syndrome Pain and Suffering Award

This 46-year-old self employed bookkeeper and housekeeper sustained personal injuries in a rear end motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Lovers’ Lane and Cameron Taggart Road in Cobble Hill, British Columbia. After the claimant had stopped at the intersection, her car was struck from behind by a minivan. The defendants admitted liability.

As a result of the accident the claimant suffered from chronic pain in her legs, hip girdle, low back, neck and shoulders, fibromyalgia, fatigue and depression.  The judge found that her chronic pain disabled her from employment as a housecleaner and partially disabled her from bookkeeping in the past and future.

The Court found that the claimant sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back in the accident and developed somatic symptom syndrome and depression. As a consequence of her somatic symptom disorder, she experienced pain affecting her hips and legs.

In awarding $115,000 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life the Court found the claimant continued to experience significant physical and psychological pain and suffering and a substantial diminution of her lifestyle. As the judge aptly stated,

[95] Non-pecuniary damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of amenities. The compensation awarded should be fair to all parties, and fairness is measured against awards made in comparable cases. Such cases, though helpful, serve only as a rough guide. Each case depends on its own unique facts: Trites v. Penner, 2010 BCSC 882 at para. 188-189.(Elpel v. Glover, 2018 BCSC 1404)

Note the award for pain and suffering did not include any compensation for past or future loss of housekeeping capacity as these were awarded separately. A summary of the total court award for this personal injury case is as follows:

Pain and Suffering: $115,000.00

 Past Loss of Housekeeping Capacity: $35,000
Future Loss of Housekeeping Capacity: $45,000
Past Loss of Earning Capacity: $35,000
Future Loss of Earning Capacity: $90,000
Costs of Future Care: $91,288.91
Out of Pocket Expenses: $3,997.62
Total Award: $415,286.53
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: icbc case examples, Loss of Housekeeping Capacity, Pain and Suffering, Somatic Symptom Disorder in Personal Injury Law

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