Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from lower leg injuries as a result of an accident is between $35,080 – $255,849 [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
Noiles v. MTD Products Inc., 2019 ONSC 4642
- The 40-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries when he was inflating the tire of his snow blower and the tire rim exploded. Pieces of the fractured rim and tire struck his right shin. He sustained bruising and a laceration which required three stitches. In the days after the incident, his pain increased. He described a sharp stabbing sensation like his leg was on fire. He was later found to have sensory changes, vasomotor changes and trophic changes in his lower leg. Such signs and symptoms were consistent with the most commonly accepted criteria for diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome, a permanent impairment. He was awarded $125,000 in general damages.
- The 18-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. She suffered a fractured tibia and intra-articular fracture of the talus bone in her right ankle, requiring orthopedic surgery. The restrictions imposed by the injury caused her to alter her post-secondary education and career plans, and interfered with her day-to-day activities. Medical experts agreed that she would likely require further surgery in the future to fuse her ankle, and that she would suffer ongoing pain and restriction of movement on account of arthritis in her ankle, with possible ankle fusion surgery leaving her partially disabled. A jury awarded her $225,000 in general damages.
Tibbetts v. Murphy, 2017 NSCA 35
- The 51-year-old plaintiff was struck by an oncoming truck while driving her motorcycle. She suffered a dislocated and fractured hip, fractured left tibia, fractured left fibula, and soft tissue injuries. She was completely immobile when discharged from the hospital and severely limited in function for several months. She required assistance for basic functions and had ongoing pain in her hip, leg, and back, and suffered frequent nightmares. She received $30,000 in general damages.
Mielke v. Harbour Ridge Apartment Suites Ltd., 2011 NSSC 313
- The plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of a trip and fall. He sustained a rupture to his Achilles tendon which caused him to experience a constant throbbing pain at the back of his right heel which radiated up to behind his knee. After initially being bedridden he required a wheelchair, and then crutches, and approximately three months after the accident used a cane as needed. He returned to lighter duties at work approximately 14 weeks after the injury. Within one year of the injury, he considered himself completely healed, but with some residual limitations in mobility and movement of his leg and ankle area. He was awarded $35,000 in general damages.
Leslie v. S & B Apartment Holding Ltd., 2011 NSSC 48
- The plaintiff, a 33-year-old production line worker, suffered injuries when he jumped from a third-storey window in order to escape a fire in his apartment. He suffered serious fractures to both ankles and a fracture to his left fibula. He underwent surgeries to repair each of his fractures, with the insertion of plates, screws and pins. He could not bear weight on his legs for three months. He underwent additional surgery to remove the hardware in his leg. He was no longer able to run or engage in sports that caused impact to his feet. The fracture to his tibia put him at a significantly increased risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis, and it was also possible that the plaintiff would require ankle replacement surgery. He returned to work one year post-accident. He was awarded $75,000 in general damages.
McDonald v. 171185135 Ontario Inc., 2010 ONSC 6698
- The plaintiff, a 22-year-old waitress, suffered injuries when a customer at her place of employment fell on a heavy glass table, breaking the table and causing the sharp edge of the table to fall against her leg, causing a significant laceration, and severing the tibial tendon. She underwent surgery to repair the severed tendon. During her convalescence, she experienced frequent leg spasms and suffered pain throughout her entire leg. She was unable to return to work four months after the incident and was restricted to a modified work program for the first six months after her return to work. The plaintiff’s enjoyment of various activities was diminished. She was awarded $47,000 in general damages.
Melanson v. Steen, 2009 NBQB 176
- The 66-year-old plaintiff was injured as a result of a broadside collision. She suffered serious injuries to her lower right leg and ankle, described as a grade III-C open tibial fracture with segmental fractures of her midshaft tibia, as well as trimalleolar fracture of her ankle. Doctors gave serious consideration to amputating her lower leg. She underwent four operations to conduct reconstructive skin grafts and plastic surgery to cover up the exposed plates and pins of the first operation. Prior to the accident, she was active and healthy. The accident caused her to have substantial limitations on her activity level. But for the accident, she would have had a very good quality of life leading into her old age. She was awarded $70,000 in general damages.
McKeough v. Miller, 2009 NSSC 394
- The 55-year-old plaintiff was struck by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian and suffered a fractured right tibia and fibula, a complex fracture of his left tibia, a serious injury to his knee joint, and an external rotation deformity in his right foot. He required corrective surgeries and spent three weeks in the hospital recovering. His gait was altered, and he suffered from ongoing restrictions for prolonged standing, climbing, walking on uneven terrain, driving long distances, crouching, kneeling, sitting, and heavy lifting. Surgeries caused permanent scarring and discomfort. He would likely require a knee replacement in the future, and was unable to return to his employment as a heavy-duty truck driver. He received $85,000 in general damages.
Mills v. Bourgeois Estate, 1995 CanLII 4504 (NS SC)
- The 22-year-old plaintiff was struck by a motor vehicle while riding his motorcycle. He suffered a fractured right medial distal tibia with puncture wound to his lateral leg forming a compound fracture, as well as a closed fracture of his right wrist. He received $45,000 in general damages.
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