case studies

1200 West 73rd Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada

At the time of her accident, Emily was 46 years old and working full-time as a self-employed garden landscaper. She was the lead guitarist and lead singer in a band doing paid gigs. Emily was also responsible for transporting and setting up all the equipment for the band’s performances. She loved writing music, as well as taking her dog for walks, camping, fishing, and skiing. She was capable, outgoing and upbeat. Her clients frequently expressed how much they loved dealing with her.


Emily was driving her Jeep in Surrey close to a busy bypass intersection. Suddenly, a Volkswagen changed lanes in front of her, without signalling, and collided with her Jeep. Emily’s head struck the driver side window on impact, and her grip on the steering wheel tightened. Given her seating position, this resulted in pain in her hand, shoulders, and back.

Emily’s dog was also in the car and sustained injuries too. With her dog howling in pain and her expensive band equipment in the car, Emily didn’t feel she could abandon her dog and car by getting in an ambulance. Instead, she waited for a tow truck and went to the hospital much later than would have been ideal. By the time she had arrived, her symptoms had worsened, she could not fully recall the accident, and her vision had become fuzzy.

The accident had a severe impact on all aspects of Emily’s life. In addition to the harm inflicted on her dog, her Jeep and musical equipment were damaged. As for Emily, the crash caused headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Her jaw, shoulders, chest, and spine were injured. She also suffers a number of psychological harms.

The most significant damage was on her business and career.


At trial, we achieved a significant financial outcome for Emily. A large part of the judgment was awarded because, as a result of her injuries, Emily’s ability to work was significantly and irreparably diminished. She had to hire other people to do tasks she could no longer do. She was less efficient and needed many days off to recover from her injuries. Her settlement took all this into account. We were able to secure a sum for Emily that returned her income to the level it was before the accident. The payment also took into account the once-probable growth of her business, which she found herself no longer able to achieve.

A large part of the award related to costs of her future care too. Emily can now afford all of the treatment recommended by her doctors. She can afford physiotherapy, psychological treatment, and pain reduction therapies and other critical care without worrying about paying for them. She can also afford to hire someone for housekeeping and yard work.

Unfortunately, Emily wasn’t physically able to get back to many of the activities she enjoyed before the accident. As they were critical to Emily’s overall wellbeing, it was crucial that we provided her with sufficient compensation. The trial judge agreed with our arguments and awarded Emily compensation for her pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment of life.


Emily is still working as a self-employed garden landscaper and has adapted the way she operates to accommodate her post-accident limitations. She continues to need moderate treatment for physiotherapy and psychotherapy. However, she’s stoic and works as much as she can. Her recovery is definitely ongoing, but with financial security and the ability to pay for the treatment she needs, we know she will get there.

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