Award of damages for pain and suffering in an ICBC case
An award of damages for pain and suffering, also called “non-pecuniary” damages, is made to compensate the plaintiff for the loss of enjoyment of life they experience and will continue to experience as a result of the injuries suffered in an accident. Reasons for judgment were released today in the case of Starchuk v. Hannig, a case that involved assessment of damages following injury in a May 13, 2013 car accident. The judge concluded that the plaintiff suffered the following injuries as a result of the motor vehicle accident:
 In summary, I am satisfied that as a result of the motor vehicle accident of May 13, 2013, Ms. Starchuk has suffered soft tissue injury to her neck, shoulders, upper limbs, back, chest and right foot; a capsular tear of her breast implant which required surgery and has left her with postoperative pain and loss of nipple sensation; chronic mechanical neck and shoulder pain; soft tissue injuries to her arms with persisting forearm and hand pain, numbness and tingling; post traumatic stress disorder, somatic symptom disorder, chronic pain, and a mild traumatic brain injury. I accept that Ms. Starchuk:
- will remain at risk for a potential reduction in capacity due to her psychiatric diagnoses because of exacerbation from stress or other triggers; increased risk of developing another psychiatric diagnosis; and increased risk of developing fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome;
- would likely benefit from further therapy for her soft tissue injuries within the next year, but that she will be left with ongoing pain and activity restrictions related to neck, back, chest, arms and hands which will likely be permanent and enduring; and
- has had a good result from her breast revision surgery, but is left with pain and lack of sensation and the result is not aesthetically satisfying to her.
After reviewing similar decisions, the trial judge awarded $135,000 for pain and suffering.