What Kind of Injury Can You Get an ICBC Settlement For? Small vs Large Injuries
If you have had an ICBC accident in Vancouver or elsewhere in British Columbia, you may be wondering how significant the injury needs to be to get a financial payment. You may be thinking that only the most severe injuries receive financial compensation, but even smaller injuries are awarded damages as well.
Common Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Injuries
The most common motor vehicle accident injuries for which compensation is sought are soft tissue injuries. These occur when a muscle, ligament, or tendon is damaged. “Whiplash” is the most common type of soft tissue injury and sprains, strains, and bruising and/or scrapes or cuts are also commonplace. Cuts could be superficial or more serious depending on their depth and they are often caused by broken glass, airbags, projectiles, seat belts, etc.
Broken bones are another common result from motor vehicle accidents that are compensated. Car accidents are actually one of the most common causes of broken bones – whether it is a fractured collarbone from an airbag, or broken femur from a bicycle-motor vehicle accident – many broken bones stem from accidents. These fractures often require surgery, casts and medical rehabilitation.
Brain injuries and head injuries, such as concussions, are some of the most serious and common conditions following a Vancouver car accident ICBC claim. Often a new client will come meet with our law firm with minor injuries only to discover that the headaches they had were misdiagnosed and he or she is suffering from a concussion. We also regularly see individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. The symptoms of TBI’s include headache, nausea, fatigue or drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, dizziness or loss of balance, sensory problems, memory or concentration problems, and/or mood changes.
Not all injuries from a car crash are physical; some of them are psychological. While the prevalence of these types of injuries have not changed, the medical community is getting much better at diagnosing and treating psychological injuries following an ICBC accident. Common psychological injuries include phobias of driving, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or chronic pain, which includes a psychological component.
Whether you have sustained soft tissue injuries, cuts and bruises, a brain or head injury, a psychological condition or some combination of the above, you are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering, treatment and more.
Smaller Injury Claims
Many people choose not to pursue smaller injury claims as they don’t believe it is worthwhile. However, there is a substantial cost through pain and suffering, treatment and economic losses that you are entitled to recover. Small injuries can still have a big impact on your life.
An example of this would be Carroll v. Hunter, 2014 BCSC 2193. Ms. Carroll was rear-ended by Mr. Hunter, the owner and operator of a five-ton moving van that the judge determined was only traveling at a speed of approximately 20km/hour. Despite the low velocity impact of the accident, the Ms. Carroll developed intense and persistent neck pain that interfered with her sleep, daily functioning and work.
The judge awarded $90,000 for pain and suffering and over $295,000 for future loss of earning capacity. Combined with the other heads of damages, Ms. Carroll was awarded $548,171 in total.
Larger Injury Claims
Larger injury claims are also important as these injuries can dramatically change your day-to-day life and needs. In Afonina v. Jansson, 2015 BCSC 10, one of the plaintiffs, Alissa Afonina, suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury as a result of a single car accident. In this accident, the vehicle ended up in the ditch beside the highway shortly after the rain. The court assessed her damages for pain and suffering at $300,000. As a result of her injuries she requires occupational therapy, vocational therapy, psychological treatment and rehabilitative assistance. The total quantity for this future care awarded was $376,863. Based on her past success, the judge estimated her future earning capacity at approximately $32,000 per year based on full-time semi-skilled work. After the accident, the judge estimated that she could only work 12-15 hours per week. Based on the contingencies, the judge estimated her future income loss at $825,000. In total, the judge awarded Ms. Afonina just over $1.5 million in damages.
Consult With Kenneth Cristall Law in Vancouver
If you or a loved one need a car accident lawyer in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Langley or throughout the lower mainland, even to consult with after a minor ICBC accident, contact us for advice. At Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation, we have more than 30 years of experience with ICBC and the damages provided for car accident injuries. Contact us today at 604-654-2250.