What are the factors that determine an award of non-pecuniary damages in a motor vehicle accident?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Tarasevich v. Samsam, 2013 BCSC 1914 (CanLII):

In Stapley v. Hejslet, 2006 BCCA 34, Kirkpatrick J.A. cited a non-exhaustive list of the factors that commonly influence an award of non-pecuniary damages. That list is: (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; … (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…

A plaintiff has a duty to act reasonably in mitigating her loss. It is, however, for the defendant to demonstrate on the balance of probability that the plaintiff has failed in that duty. When the failure to mitigate is alleged to have been borne of not having followed a given course of treatment, the defendant must show that the treatment was medically directed and that, had it been followed, the plaintiff would have recovered further or faster: Janiak v. Ippolito, 1985 CanLII 62 (SCC), [1985] 1 S.C.R. 146 at 163-66.

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