What factors are considered to determine the quantum of damages awarded in a motor vehicle accident case?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Johal v. Conron, 2013 BCSC 1924 (CanLII):

The inexhaustive list of common factors cited in Boyd [v. Harris, 2004 BCCA 146] that influence an award of non-pecuniary damages includes: (a) age of the plaintiff; (b) nature of the injury; (c) severity and duration of pain; (d) disability; (e) emotional suffering; and (f) loss or impairment of life; I would add the following factors, although they may arguably be subsumed in the above list: (g) impairment of family, marital and social relationships; (h) impairment of physical and mental abilities; (i) loss of lifestyle; and (j) the plaintiff's stoicism (as a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff: Giang v. Clayton, [2005] B.C.J. No. 163, 2005 BCCA 54).

Mr. Justice Barrow explained how pre-existing conditions can be relevant to an assessment of damages in two different ways in Johannson v. National Car Rental (Canada) Inc., 2008 BCSC 1873 at paras. 36 and 37:

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