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10 Years Without Care No Bar to Recovery

If I take time away from treatment – even significant time – can I still be compensated for my injuries?

In this week’s case, the court considered the damages payable to a girl who had been injured in a collision at age 10 (Audet v Chan 2018 BCSC 1123).  While there had been a flurry of treatment in the first year or so after the 2006 collision, there was no collision-related treatment after 2007 all the way up until 2017.  Indeed, the girl’s father had filled out paperwork for the Public Guardian and Trustee in 2011 and 2015, presumably indicating that his daughter had completely recovered.  At trial, he testified that he had misread the forms, and was intending to indicate that she’d reached a ‘new normal’ where she could manage her pain.

Before making a $95,000.00 award for pain and suffering and other amounts for past and future expense and loss of earning capacity, Justice Forth concluded that the lack of medical treatment (and the Public Guardian & Trustee forms) were not indicative of a lack of injury:

[59]         After the initial treatment period, although some consultation with a doctor would have been an option, in my view it was not a necessity for Ms. Audet and her parents. She was able to attend school and recreational activities, and the focus became the medical treatment of her diabetes. As her parents testified, they both wanted to normalize their daughter’s life by getting her back to school and her regular activities. As the mother testified, she thought getting her daughter back into gym and dance would help strengthen her back muscles. There was no reason to take her to further physical therapies.

Clearly, 10 years without treatment is not the bar to recovery that the ICBC-insured defendant argued it was.