What are the elements of a plaintiff's claim for non-pecuniary damages in a motor vehicle accident?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Koltai v. Wang, 2015 BCSC 1346 (CanLII):

Non-pecuniary damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of amenities. Compensation for injuries involves a consideration of the unique circumstances and attributes of the injured party. The amount must be fair to the defendant and plaintiff and fairness can be analyzed in the context of awards to parties in similar circumstances with similar injuries. Although fairness is guided by awards in comparable cases, each plaintiff’s unique circumstances are typically difficult to compare to other cases. Thus similar cases can only offer a rough guide: Trites v. Penner, 2010 BCSC 882 at paras. 188-189.

The commonly accepted factors relied on in the assessment of non-pecuniary damages were summarized in Stapley v. Hejslet, 2006 BCCA 34 at para. 46:

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