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Court Dismisses Low Velocity Impact Claim

In Andraws v. Anslow 2013 BCSC 2080 the plaintiff’s vehicle was rear ended at very low speed. She sued the defendant for damages. The damage to the plaintiff’s bumper cost $100 to repair. Liability for the accident was admitted by the defendant. The plaintiff claimed that she suffered soft tissue injuries and headaches as a result of the accident. She sought damages of $115,000.

At trial the plaintiff described the collision as a “hard hit” that caused her chest to hit the steering wheel. After the collision the plaintiff called 911 and was taken to hospital by ambulance. The defendant described the collision as involving a “sudden bang” when the plaintiff’s van was “bumped”. He testified that his vehicle was “dribbling along” at 2-3 kph prior to the collision. He described feeling little impact and that the only damage to the plaintiff’s van was possible scuff marks on the bumper.

The court ultimately found the defendant’s description of the collision was consistent with the cosmetic damage to each vehicle, that the collision involved only minor forces, and that the plaintiff had overstated the severity of the collision. The court went on to state “A collision of minimal forces makes it more probable that there would not be serious injury”. Ultimately the court dismissed the claim, finding that the plaintiff was not sufficiently reliable to prove her claim on a balance of probabilities. Without sufficient reliable evidence, no injuries could be found to have been caused by the accident.

Case summary by: Caroline Alexander