Summerland resident awarded $300K for 'life-changing' injuries in car crash

Crash victim gets $300K

A Summerland woman injured in a vehicle crash in the Lower Mainland has been awarded $300K in damages, which is roughly $450K less than she was originally seeking.

Lorie Mae Zachariuk, who was 54 at the time of the crash in 2018, was waiting at a red light, riding as a passenger in the front seat of a car when their vehicle was struck from behind by a taxicab, causing it to collide with the vehicle in front of it.

She sued Vancouver Taxi Ltd. and its driver after the incident, claiming multiple health issues and seeking damages for pain and suffering, cost of care and loss of potential future income.

According to the Supreme Court decision published on Wednesday, Zachariuk says that the injuries she sustained on that occasion have drastically changed her life.

"She claims that they prevented her from pursuing her career of choice and left her in constant discomfort and dependent on others, particularly her son, to maintain her home, with little hope for significant improvement in the future," wrote Justice Warren B. Milman in the decision.

While the defendants did not dispute that Zachariuk was injured in the accident and that she is entitled to compensation, they disputed the severity of her injuries and prognosis from it.

"I accept that the injuries she sustained in the accident have diminished her ability to enjoy many of the amenities of life, including her work, her social life and the recreational activities she used to enjoy. Friends, family and co-workers have noticed a pronounced change in her personality," Milman wrote.

However, Milman determined that Zachariuk's claim that her career suffered as a result of the crash — allegedly missing out on a change in career from an educational assistant to a higher-paid role as corrections officer at the Okanagan Correctional Centre — as unfounded.

Ultimately, the justice awarded a total of $301,233 to Zachariuk.

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