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Not all injuries suffered in traffic accidents are physical

Traffic accidents happen every day throughout British Columbia. In some cases they result in serious injuries to those involved. Those injuries, which can take many forms, may make it difficult for those affected to move forward with life. While these injuries are often physical in nature, it is possible a person’s psychological state could also be affected by a collision. A man originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo knows this firsthand.

The man was involved in what was characterized as a minor traffic accident. The vehicle the man was driving was sideswiped by another car as he made a left turn. While the man suffered some physical injuries—a hurt jaw, shoulder and upper back pain and whiplash—the incident impacted him much more deeply, emotionally. The collision caused emotional trauma diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder. In connection with it, he has also been found to suffer from insomnia and depression.

Following the collision, the family man developed a fear of being touched, agoraphobia and hyper vigilance. As a result, he can no longer help at home or with his children. In addition, he cannot work. The previous stress includes seeing his parents killed, and enduring two civil wars, while he was still in his native country.

Due to the man’s injury, a lawsuit was filed. Recently, a B.C. Supreme Court Justice ruled on the matter and the man was awarded approximately $1 million. Of that amount, $600,000 was for future income earning capacity. $200,000 was allotted for his chronic pain and psychiatric symptoms. For past earnings he receive $50,000 and for future care, $45,000. In addition his wife also recovered $150,000.

While the damage award will not do anything to undo the suffering the man and his family have experienced, it may make matters easier for them in the future.

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