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Judge Says Crash Victim Didn't Do Enough to Recover

Victor Lewin - Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nova Scotia residents may be interested to learn of the case of a man that was recently awarded more than $268,000 in damages in relation to a car accident that occurred in 2006. Though some might consider this sum substantial, the judgement reflects a 20 percent reduction of the damages the man might otherwise have been awarded; according to the judge, he reduced it because he did not feel the victim has done enough to recover.

Although the victim was rear-ended by a pickup truck and the other party admitted liability, the extent of the victim's injuries and their long-term impact were called into question. The judge wrote that the victim smoked excessively and did not engage in regular exercise, for which reason he was at least partially responsible for his decreased physiological condition in the years after the car accident. While the presiding judge did not dispute the victim's overall injury, he decided that his demeanour thereafter was exaggerated.

According to the judge, the victim allowed himself to fall into a mindset that hindered his recuperation beyond that for which the other party could be held culpable. The judge also disputed the victim's contention that he will never be able to work again.

This case emphasizes some of the difficulties that an accident victim might encounter. Even after an accident like this where liability was clearly established, the other party might choose to contest the amount of damages for which they should be held responsible. In some cases, they may even argue that the victim's injuries are not as severe as the plaintiff contends. In order to prevent such arguments from hindering a personal injury claim, it may be necessary to document thoroughly the extent to which the accident has affected the victim's life.

Source: CBC Nova Scotia, "Collision victim awarded $268K in damages", Blair Rhodes, June 18, 2014

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