Charles is a kind, generous, 88-year-old man who lives alone in Vancouver. He immigrated to Canada from China in 2001, where he’d had a career as an engineering technologist. At the time of the accident, he was in excellent health. He lived independently and was active both socially and recreationally. He exercised regularly, jogged 2km five times a week, participated in Tai Chi two times per week, and completed one hour of calisthenics each day. He required no assistance with travelling around Vancouver and travelled back to China every two years to visit his family and friends. Charles was also attending ESL classes, where he quickly progressed from ELSA level 4 to level 6, receiving numerous compliments on his great memory along the way. He had been doing exceptionally well for a man of his age.
Charles was enjoying his morning walk. He was crossing the street at an unmarked crosswalk at the intersection of Alexander and Princess Street in Vancouver. After taking several steps, he was struck by a vehicle approaching from his left. The car struck his left side with enough force to send him airborne. After crashing back to the pavement and landing on his right side, Charles slipped in and out of consciousness. He was quickly taken to Vancouver General Hospital by ambulance.
Charles was transferred to the acute unit at VGH where he had numerous scans including both CT and X-Ray. After 10 days, he was transported to the UBC rehabilitation unit for further recovery. It turned out that he had sustained a number of fractures, internal bleeding, spinal disc injuries, traumatic brain injury and extensive numbness and pain. Given his age, Charles was especially vulnerable to complications arising from his injuries, and his prognosis was initially quite negative.
HOW WE HELPED
Our priorities were two-fold; we made sure that Charles received all of the care and support that he needed once he was discharged from hospital after the first few months. Additionally, we took steps to ensure that the Defendant would be found liable for the accident, and cleared Charles himself of any contributory negligence, or wrongdoing.
A year after the accident, Charles still had chronic pain and disability, and required constant care and supervision. He could neither leave home without support, nor enjoy his previous daily recreational activities. He had difficulties with his memory, concentration and decision making and was very worried that he might develop dementia due to his loss of independence, distress, and the fact that he’d become more socially isolated. His quality of life diminished significantly, and he had to move into a semi-independent assisted living facility.
Charles’s recovery and healing was very slow or even non-existent. He must now take medication, undergo testing for cognitive impairments, and live in assisted living. Much of his independence was lost.
After the accident, Charles’s daughter shouldered much of the burden of taking care of her father. She spent well over 250 hours treating her father, missing time at her work as an IT manager. The settlement monies included a significant amount to compensate his daughter for the dedication she showed, the time she spent and the costs and other impacts the accident had on her life.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT
Our goal was to resolve Charles’s claim with minimal interruption to his life from the litigation process. Happily, we were able to achieve this for him.
The settlement that we were able to obtain for Charles provided compensation for the drastic decrease in his quality of life, as well for as the likelihood that he would not improve significantly. It also included amounts to enable him to pay for the extensive future care he needed, most likely for the rest of his life. He will need ongoing assistance when travelling and will have to fly business class when he goes to China to accommodate his injuries. With the resources we were able to get for him as part of his settlement, he will have an easier time managing his changed circumstances in his old age.