Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from neck injuries as a result of an accident is between $10,000 – $98,338 [adjusted for 2023 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
- The female plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck that led to her developing a chronic pain condition with associated or causative psychological difficulties, leaving her with ongoing disability. She was awarded general damages in the amount of $62,000.
- The plaintiff, a library assistant, suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The day after the accident, the plaintiff complained of excruciating pain in the back of her head, which caused her to feel nauseated. Her soft tissue injuries resolved over time. While she continued to experience flare-ups of headaches, these were found to be unrelated to the collision. She was awarded general damages in the amount of $7,956, the prevailing cap for minor injuries at the time.
- The plaintiff, a Newfoundland lawyer, was involved in three motor vehicle collisions over the span of a few years. Liability was admitted in all of them, and they were tried together in order to apportion her damages appropriately. The court found that in the first accident, she sustained a moderate (WAD II) soft tissue injury to her neck and headaches. This accident was estimated as responsible for 6% of her injuries, and she was awarded $3,900 in general damages. In the second accident, she sustained a WAD III soft tissue injury to her neck, pain in her shoulder and base of skull, numbness and paralysis in her hands, and a cord concussion. The accident was estimated as responsible for 50% of her injuries, and she was awarded $32,500 in general damages. In the third accident she sustained chronic pain in her neck, back and shoulder, as well as weakness in her right arm. She was diagnosed with chronic traumatic myofascial pain syndrome. This accident was estimated as responsible for 44% of her injuries, and she was awarded $28,600 in general damages.
- The plaintiff, a 45-year-old nurse, suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The collision involved a significant impact. She was extracted from her vehicle using the jaws-of-life and was taken to hospital by ambulance. She had struck her head in the accident, and experienced pain in her neck and shoulder. The neck pain never resolved, and continued at the time of trial, almost six-years post-accident. The pain not only affected her ability to work, but also caused her to suffer from debilitating anxiety and depression. She would likely continue to experience daily neck pain for the rest of her life. She was awarded general damages in the amount of $65,000.
Walsh v. King, 2007 CarswellNB 460
- The plaintiff suffered injuries when his vehicle was struck from behind. While acknowledging that the collision was not severe, the plaintiff said that the accident caused his neck and head to be tossed backward and forward. He complained of an instant headache. The plaintiff was later diagnosed with a degenerative cervical spine condition and underwent surgery which provided little benefit. He took a myriad of medications and was on exercise programs to strengthen his neck, hands, and arms. He was awarded $70,000 in general damages.
- The 43-year-old plaintiff who worked as an insurance broker suffered injuries as a result of a low-impact motor vehicle accident. He suffered a soft tissue injury to his cervical spine, with pain radiating down to his shoulder area, as well as headaches. These injuries resolved within nine months of the accident, with occasional flare-ups. He was awarded $15,000 in general damages.
- The plaintiff, a 28-year-old financial unit control supervisor, suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident. She saw her family doctor a couple of hours after the accident, at which time her neck, chest, and back had become extremely sore. By the second day, she was in considerable pain, and she could not move her back or her neck. She suffered from migraines. The injuries had an ongoing impact on her ability to do household chores, share activities with her children, and enjoy a social life. Her injuries were considered to be permanent. The court assessed general damages at $50,000.
Smith v. Agnew, 2003 NBQB 394
- The plaintiff suffered a moderate to moderately severe soft tissue injury to his neck in a motor vehicle accident. He also suffered from headaches. He was prescribed pain and muscle relaxant medications and was sent for physiotherapy. Furthermore, he did not follow the advice of his doctors with respect to the need for exercise, and this failure exacerbated and prolonged his condition. The court assessed plaintiff’s general damages at $50,000.
- The 58-year-old plaintiff was a passenger in a car that struck a pipe extending above the elevation of the paved sidewalk, causing it to come to an abrupt stop. The force of the collision caused the plaintiff’s head to strike the upper portion of the windshield of the car. This caused the plaintiff to suffer from headaches, neck pain and some memory loss following the accident. She attended about 70 physiotherapy sessions for her injuries. She was awarded general damages in the amount of $17,500.
- 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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