Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from chronic pain syndrome (CPS) as a result of an accident is between $38,770 – $424,876 [adjusted for 2022 inflation rates]. The general damage award amounts for each individual case below have not been adjusted for inflation. For your convenience, the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator can be accessed here.
As described in our General Damages Guide, these awards are only for general damages which compensate you for your pain and suffering. There are other types of damages that you may be entitled to claim, such as lost income and medical care costs, depending on the circumstances of your case. To assess the total value of your injury claim, try our Injury Claim Calculator or book a free consultation.
The case law
Chiasson c. Thériault, 2018 NBQB 177
- The 30-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck from behind. She suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck with WAD-like symptoms and experienced cervicogenic headaches. She was unable to successfully return to work. Four years after the collision, she began undergoing cortisone facet joint injections to address her complaints of ongoing pain. At the time of trial, nine years after the collision, her symptoms continued. She had been diagnosed as suffering from chronic pain syndrome, with symptoms that would be permanent. She was awarded $75,000 in general damages.
Revak v. Rosenberger, 2017 BCSC 2370
- The 45-year-old plaintiff suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and soft tissue injuries in a motor vehicle accident. As a result, he experienced post-concussion syndrome and an aggravation of pre-existing chronic pain. He had difficulty with speech, concentration, coordination, dizziness, and balance, as well as headaches and neck pain. He was unable to continue his work as a painter and was likely disabled from any future employment. He received $100,000 in general damages.
Kwok v. Abecassis, 2017 ONSC 164
- The 50-year-old plaintiff was involved in a series of collisions with both guardrails and another vehicle after being cut off and taking evasive action to avoid a collision. He suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury including a diffuse axonal injury, a cerebral hematoma, head laceration, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and soft tissue injuries to his neck, shoulder, and lower back. As a result of these injuries, the plaintiff dealt with chronic pain, dizziness, poor vision, balance and coordination issues, slowed gait, and many other psychological and cognitive difficulties which left him markedly impaired in every facet. His injuries were deemed permanent and unlikely to improve. He received $290,000 in general damages.
Norton v. Dong, 2017 BCSC 2281
- The plaintiff was rear-ended at highway speeds and suffered multiple soft tissue injures to his neck, back, and shoulders, as well as a mild traumatic brain injury. He suffered from frequent headaches, chronic neck pain, sound sensitivity, tinnitus, and an inability to sleep as a result of his injuries. There was some indication he may be capable of returning to work in the future. He received $160,000 in general damages.
Gordon v. Sexton, 2013 CanLII 104947 (NL SC)
- The plaintiff, a 42-year-old snowplow driver, suffered injuries when the snowplow he was driving was struck from behind by a tractor trailer. He suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and shoulder area and was diagnosed with Grade 2 whiplash. Despite undergoing several different treatments, his symptoms did not resolve, and he was diagnosed with chronic myofascial pain syndrome. He was largely unable to return to his previously physically active lifestyle. He also suffered from depression due to financial stresses resulting from the impact of his injuries on his ability to work as a snowplow operator. He was awarded $75,000 in general damages.
Allen v. Wal-Mart Canada Inc., 2009 NLTD 79
- The plaintiff, a 45-year-old home care facility owner and operator, suffered injuries as a result of a trip and fall. The plaintiff was pushing a shopping cart on a moving conveyor belt at the defendant’s store when the cart got caught in the belt’s mechanism, causing it to lurch to one side. The plaintiff was trapped between the cart and the side of the belt. She fell and was moved along with the belt for a short distance before someone stopped it. She suffered a moderate soft tissue injury to her cervical and lumbar spine. She was left suffering from chronic pain that was expected to continue for the rest of her life. Prior to the accident, she was suffering from degenerative disc disease, a neuromuscular disorder, and headaches. She was awarded $90,000 in general damages.
Nilsson v. Mather, 2008 NBQB 65
- The plaintiff, a 34-year-old call centre employee, suffered injuries when the defendant made a U-turn into her path of travel, causing a collision. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was off work as a result of a prior surgery. After the accident, she was transported to the hospital by ambulance where she was diagnosed with Grade 2 whiplash, post-traumatic stress disorder, reactive depression, chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia-like syndrome, and temporomandibular disorder. She was left with pain, numbness, and tingling in her hands and feet, and jaw pain. She also developed symptoms of anxiety and depression, and her sleep was interrupted. She was awarded $45,000 in general damages.
Place v. Ali, 2007 CanLII 23598 (ON SC)
- The 23-year-old plaintiff was rear-ended while driving her car. She suffered whiplash, and injuries to her hip, lower back, and ear. She developed chronic pain in her neck, back, shoulder, and hip. She also suffered a permanent moderate loss of hearing. The impact of her injuries led to depression. She received $125,000 in general damages.
Aberdeen v. Township of Langley, Zanatta, Cassels, 2007 BCSC 993
- The plaintiff, a 50-year-old triathlete, was catastrophically injured while cycling. As a result of a driver crossing the yellow line, the plaintiff was forced to take evasive action and hit a patch of gravel, making it impossible to brake in time and hit a metal guard rail. He suffered a spinal cord injury which resulted in him having almost no sensation from the chest down, including no use of his arms and chronic neurogenic pain. He also suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. After the accident, the plaintiff required permanent personal care assistance. He received $311,000 in general damages.
Aminullah v. Fouroughy, 2004 CarswellOnt 2367 (Ont. S.C.J.)
- The 39-year-old plaintiff fell off a ladder while working on a light fixture. He fractured his back resulting in incomplete paraplegia which required surgery. Over a period of a few years, he graduated to walking with one cane. He suffered chronic pain, required a catheter to void, and had issues with sexual dysfunction. His social and family participation was severely negatively affected by the injuries suffered in the fall. He was awarded $130,000 in general damages.
Berthier v. Horton, 2003 NSSC 198
- The plaintiff, a 47-year-old office manager, suffered a whiplash-type injury when her car was struck from behind. She received treatment from her family doctor and underwent physiotherapy treatments for a number of months. She did not improve, and consequently developed chronic pain syndrome. At the time of trial, she was not able to enjoy the life that she did prior to the accident. The court held that the plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages by not seeking medical attention. She was awarded $45,000 for general damages.
McGraw v. Melanson et al., 2001 NBQB 165
- The 30-year-old plaintiff suffered a soft-tissue injury to his neck and suffered from chronic pain as a result. Immediately after the accident, he was fitted with a hard collar to keep his neck stationary and wore it for 3 1/2 months. He attended 159 physiotherapy sessions and had 31 sessions of massage therapy. The plaintiff became temperamental and restless as a result of his injuries. He was unable to resume his work as a roofer, a job which required a lot of heavy labour, and would be required to retrain. He was awarded $25,000 in general damages.
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