Real Victims’ Stories

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“I have two kids, 15 and 11. I’m a single mom. A vehicle came behind me and rear ended me. I’ve always been an active person and now I struggle to walk up a flight of stairs. The most difficult part for me has been taking care of my kids. And my doctor tells me I will probably be living with this for the rest of my life.”

– Della

 

“I’ve been off work for two and a half years. Financially, we went through a period where we thought we were going to lose our home. There were days where I could not lift my daughter, she was only two at the time.

I’m the one feeling the pain. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

– Christina

 

“Getting ready to pull into my driveway, slowing down.  A gentleman behind me decides to hit his gas and go in on top of the sidewalk and take me out of my driveway. Financial, physical, mental, the stiffness in the neck, the muscle spasms.

I went from climbing mountains to sitting at a desk.”

– Paul

Following Cap in NB
Fraser v. Haines

Facts: 

  • The Plaintiff and his 12-year old son were involved in a motor vehicle accident when the Defendant negligently struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle.

Analysis:

  • The Plaintiff suffered a significant injury to his shoulder.
  • He was forced to miss six (6) months of work following the accident.  When he did return to work as a construction worker he had to alter the way he carried out tasks to protect his injured shoulder.
  • He was forced to attend physiotherapy for eight (8) months, after which his physiotherapist stated he would not fully recover.  Two (2) years post-accident he still experienced pain in his shoulder.
  • The Plaintiff’s family doctor and the orthopedic surgeon who treated him both testified at trial that the Plaintiff was not exaggerating his symptoms.
  • The trial judge in his decision states “I found Fraser to be a credible witness who did not exaggerate the impact of the injury on his life”.

Decision:

Given the duration of the injury, the pain the Plaintiff endured, and the multiple physiotherapy sessions the Plaintiff attended, the trial judge would have awarded $30,000.00 in general damages, however he was forced to cap the Plaintiff’s damages at $2,500.00 “due to the legislative cap”. The Plaintiff appealed the decision and his appeal was dismissed.

Following Cap in NB
Douthwright vs. Duffy

Facts:

  • The Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle negligently hit in a head-on collision by a tractor trailer.

Analysis:

  • The trial judge found that the Plaintiff suffered significant soft tissue injuries which included headaches, neck pain, low back pain, left arm pain, initial chest pain, left ankle pain, sleeping difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe driving anxiety.
  • At the trial, almost ten (10) years post-accident, the Plaintiff’s family doctor confirmed she suffered from soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, depression and anxiety and she was forced to take multiple medications due to her condition.

Decision:

The Plaintiff sought general damages in the amount of $150,000.00, however her injuries were considered “minor” and therefore capped at $2,500.00. The trial judge stated “The Court has no choice but to apply the legislation in place at the time of the December 8, 2005 motor vehicle accident and therefore Ms. Douthwright is awarded $2,500 in general damages. In coming to this conclusion, I can only echo the comments of Justice Scaravelli in Beaulieu that $2,500 does not compensate Ms. Douthwright for pain and suffering absent this legislation. Regrettably, in these circumstances, the Court has no alternative but to apply the law as set out in Regulation 2003-20. I am certain that Ms. Douthwright, like the accident victims referred to by Chief Justice Drapeau in Leblanc c. Bulmer, will have difficulty understanding that her injuries have not been found to be “serious”.” The Plaintiff appealed the decision and the appeal was dismissed.

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Were you injured in a traffic accident? Did you benefit from being fairly compensated? Your personal experience matters here! Share your story with us.