Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from quadriplegia as a result of an accident is between $194,240 – $428,121 [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
James v. James, 2018 CarswellBC 907, 2018 BCSC 603 (B.C.S.C.)
- The 71-year-old plaintiff was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control of the vehicle resulting in an accident. She suffered severe injuries, including multiple fractures, artery dissection and intraventricular hemorrhage. After 6 weeks in hospital and three months in a rehabilitation facility, she was discharged and rendered an incomplete quadriplegic. She had significant limitations and required assistance with all aspects of daily living. She was awarded $376,500 in general damages.
University of Regina v. Biletski, 2019 SKCA 44 (CanLII), 2019 CarswellSask 246 (Sask. C.A.)
- The 19-year-old plaintiff suffered a ruptured spine leading to permanent quadriplegia after her head struck the bottom of a pool while diving. She was awarded $295,000 in general damages.
Saisho v. Loblaw Cos., 2014 CarswellOnt 3872, 2014 ONSC 1949
- The 90-year-old plaintiff was rendered a spastic paraplegic and stayed in hospital until his death 2 years later, after being struck by a shopping cart. His quality of life was greatly reduced and he required assistance for all aspects of daily life, however there was no clear causal connection between the injuries suffered in the accident and his death. He was awarded $160,000 in general damages.
Musselman v. 875667 Ontario Inc., 2010 ONSC 3177
- The 71-year-old plaintiff suffered severe injuries as a result of a slip and fall down a set of stairs. She was walking up the stairs at a restaurant during a dinner with her family when she lost her balance and fell backwards. Her son was the first to reach her and began to apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Her most serious injury was a fracture to the C-2 vertebra, rendering her a quadriplegic. Prior to the fall, the plaintiff was vibrant and active. Though there was medical evidence that her fall may have been caused by pre-existing lower leg neuropathy, the court concluded that she lost her balance and fell due to the unsafe condition of the stairs. She was left seriously disabled and her life expectancy was reduced by up to 3.6 years, effectively almost halving her remaining years of life. The court concluded it would be difficult to conceive of a case which had involved greater pain and suffering and greater loss of amenities of life, even aside from the loss of life expectancy. She was awarded general damages in the amount of $326,000.
Kirk v. Kloosterman, 2011 BCSC 228, 2011 CarswellBC 352 (B.C.S.C.)
- The plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision and suffered paralysis from his waist down. While in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries, infection spread to his spinal cord which resulted in a loss of thoracic capacity. He was reliant on his arms and shoulders to bear his weight. He was awarded $327,100 in general damages.
Mitchell v. We Care Health Services Inc., 2004 BCSC 902, 2004 CarswellBC 1542 (B.C.S.C.)
- The 47-year-old plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic as a result of a car accident. She was deemed to be permanently unemployable and required assistance with all activities of daily living as a result. She was awarded $294,980 in general damages.
Dennis v. Gairdner, 2002 BCSC 1289, 2002 CarswellBC 2047 (B.C.S.C.)
- The plaintiff suffered serious injuries to the C4-5 spine in a car accident, resulting in complete quadriplegia. He has suffered a complete loss of voluntary movement in his legs and an almost complete loss in his arms, trunk and the muscles involved in breathing. As a result of the nerve damage, he suffers from a neurogenic bladder and bowel. He is completely dependent on others for his care. He received $284,000 in general damages.
MacCabe v. Westlock Roman Catholic Separate School District No. 110, 2001 ABCA 257
- The 16-year-old high school student attempted a somersault in the air with a 270 degree backwards rotation while in gym class. She landed on her neck and suffered a spinal cord fracture resulting in quadriplegia and was confined to a wheelchair with only slight movement in her upper extremities. She suffered from incontinence as well and had a reduced life expectancy. She was awarded $225,000 in general damages.
Laplante (Guardian ad litem of) v. Laplante, (1992) 93 D.L.R (4th) 249 (B.C.S.C.)
- The 42-year-old plaintiff was the passenger in a single vehicle collision which resulted in permanent quadriplegia, as well as complications including pulmonary infection, venous thrombosis and bladder infection, and post-traumatic neurosis. He was awarded $225,000 in general damages.
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