What is the impact of a motor vehicle collision on the neck and collar bone?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Sun v. Sukhan, 2012 BCSC 365 (CanLII):

The plaintiff referred to Cariglino v. Okuda, 2011 BCSC 1429 [Cariglino]. In Cariglino, the collision was described by the plaintiff as a “hard impact” (para. 15). She felt immediately shaken and disoriented, her right elbow and right collar were hurt and she began getting a headache. It continued to worsen the next day with a pounding headache pinching between her shoulders and a burning sensation in her neck and collar bone. While the burning sensation resolved the following day, she still attended a walk-in clinic five days after the accident. The notes of one of the walk-in clinic’s treating doctors indicated “pain [to the] left side [of the] neck, left collar bone, sore movement, left neck felt hot, tender right neck, pain flexion, lateral flexion to the left, limited flexion, lateral flexion ....” Mild soft tissue injuries were diagnosed as well by her general practitioner. She had never complained of those prior to medical visit. Approximately two weeks later, her general practitioner noted her complaints included persistent soft tissue injury of the neck, trapezius and episodes of low back pain and chronic low back pain and hip pain with a compensatory aggravation of the left side of her body, which were all related to the motor vehicle accident. She also had dizzy spells and complained of excruciating pain in the right side of her head. McKinnon J. noted that the defendant had failed to provide any medical evidence to the contrary and stated at para. 35: The defendant contends that the very minor nature of the collision would render “improbable” the nature and extent of the injuries the plaintiff contends she suffers. I was not provided with opinion evidence to support that contention and thus am unable to accept the bald proposition that minor damage equals minor injury.

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