Court Rejects Low Velocity Impact (LVI) Defence Brought Forth By ICBC

In Dunne v. Sharma, the Plaintiff was involved in two separate motor vehicle collisions, and consequently brought ICBC claims for both matters, which were consolidated into one trial. The Plaintiff alleged soft tissue injuries to her neck and back, as well as psychological injuries. ICBC’S lawyer was of the belief that the Plaintiff’s injuries were minor in nature, and adduced evidence from an accident reconstructionist in order to show the relatively minimal impact in the accidents, however the Court rejected the LVI defence brought forth by ICBC.


[91] I appreciate that to have to been the case and I accept that common sense might generally dictate that a minor collision would not be expected to result in significant injuries. However, there is simply no basis upon which I am able to extrapolate the information concerning the velocity of the collision to a conclusion that the plaintiff’s injuries must therefore necessarily be of a certain type and degree. As has been judicially observed in a multitude of cases, the court cannot conclude that because the impact of the collision was relatively minor, then any resulting injuries must necessarily be minor as well. Justice Thackeray noted in Gordon v. Palmer (1993), 78 B.C.L.R. (2d) 236, 38 A.C.W.S. (3d) 924 (S.C.):


Significant injuries can be caused by the most casual of slips and falls. Conversely, accidents causing extensive property damage may leave those involved unscathed. The presence and extent of injuries are to be determined on the basis of evidence given in court. Objectivity is thus preserved and the public does not have to concern itself with extraneous philosophies that some would impose on the judicial process.

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