Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from shoulder and collarbone injuries as a result of an accident is between $34,745 – $65,931 [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
Saulnier v. Diamond, 2015 NSSC 346
- The plaintiff, a handyman, suffered injuries as a result of a fall from a ladder when the ladder broke. He suffered serious injuries to his left shoulder, which resulted in a significant loss of range of motion in his left arm and shoulder. The injuries were permanent. He was awarded $55,000 in general damages.
O’Neill Jones v. Chabot, 2015 NBQB 143
- The 47-year-old plaintiff suffered injuries when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck broadside. Prior to the accident, she suffered from diabetes, anxiety, and chronic back pain. After the accident, she had complaints of pain between her shoulder blades, upper back, and right arm. Her primary ongoing physical complaint was difficulties with her right shoulder. Despite extensive and ongoing medical treatment including physiotherapy, surgery and multiple discipline assessments, she continued to experience pain, physical limitations, and had not returned to work. It was not established that her pre-existing conditions would have detrimentally affected her but for the accident. Before reducing by 25% for contributory negligence for not wearing her seatbelt, she was awarded $42,500 in general damages (after reducing by 15% for failure to mitigate).
Moreau c. Évêque Catholique Romain d’Edmundston, 2010 NBQB 239
- The plaintiff, a 56-year-old retiree, suffered a displaced fracture to the left shoulder as a result of a slip and fall. After attempts at closed reduction and open reduction surgery proved unsuccessful, she underwent arthroplasty and the joint was replaced with a prosthesis. For several months after the injury, she required pain medication and her sleep was disrupted. She was left with limited mobility of her shoulder and arm and required assistance for tasks of daily living. At the time of trial, seven years post-injury, she continued to complain of pain and functional limitation. She was awarded $42,500 in general damages.
Hawes v. Yorston, 2006 NSSC 26
- The 26-year-old male plaintiff was injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident. He suffered pain in his neck, back, leg, and shoulders. He later required surgery on his shoulders, and although his condition improved and he had a full range of motion in his shoulders, he was left with some ongoing effects. He was awarded general damages in the amount of $25,000.
Profitt v. Smith, 2002 NBQB 105
- The 45-year-old plaintiff was thrown from his bike and suffered a dislocated right shoulder. A very high dosage of narcotics and tranquilizers failed to sedate him, so the procedure to reset his shoulder was performed in the emergency room without sedation. He worked for a large trucking company as a broker. His job involved loading and unloading his five-ton truck. He returned to work six months after the accident. At the time of the trial, his shoulder was still painful, but he had learned to live with the pain. He was more likely to develop arthritis in his right shoulder and it was doubtful that he would be able to earn a reasonable living in his present job until the age of 65. He was awarded $30,000 in general damages.
Belyea v. Hammond, 1999 CanLII 32404 (NBQB)
- The plaintiff, a 22-year-old dental assistant, suffered whiplash resulting in a posterior dislocation of the left shoulder. Despite seven surgical operations, she did not return to good health. She had permanent multi-directional instability in her left shoulder with chronic pain and frequent episodes of acute pain. She might eventually need further surgery. The pain and the medications for the pain completely disrupted her sleep patterns which prevented her from establishing a steady routine for retraining or employment. Her “dry mouth”, a side effect of her medications, contributed to her needing a great deal of dental work. Her general damages were assessed at $25,000.
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