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British Columbia woman awarded $1.4 million after car crash

British Columbia woman awarded .4 million after car crash
British Columbia woman awarded .4 million after car crash

Annette Nolan was injured on September 23, 2020 while crossing a crosswalk without markings in Vancouver.

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has awarded $1,468,051 in damages to a woman who suffered life-changing injuries in a 2020 accident in Vancouver.

Annette Nolan was injured on September 23, 2020, while crossing a street at an unmarked crosswalk at the intersection of Harwood and Thurlow Streets, Judge Murray Blok said in his July 5 ruling.

“She was hit by a vehicle driven by the suspect, Pierre Kohl,” Blok said.

“Ms Nolan’s injuries have had a life-changing impact,” the judge said. “She has gone from being a steadily working, active and vibrant 37-year-old woman to being essentially housebound with no prospects for work and with very uncertain prospects for the future.”

Before the collision, Nolan looked to her right and saw a blue car in the lane next to her, and a red/burgundy car behind it, the ruling said.

She said the blue car stopped to let her cross.

“She was three-quarters of the way across when she saw the hood of a car, red/burgundy in color, which she described as ‘a flash coming toward my leg,'” Blok said. “She was hit in her right hip, which sent her flying. She hit the right side of her head when she landed.”

Kohl testified that he was driving south on Thurlow. As he approached Harwood Street, he saw a car stopped on Thurlow at Harwood. He said he had “no recollection of a car in front of me,” meaning in his lane.

He said that as he approached the stopped car, Nolan stepped past the stopped car. He “slammed on the brakes, slid and hit her.”

Kohl acknowledged that it did not occur to him that the blue car had stopped to let a pedestrian cross. He argued that Nolan had failed to ensure her own safety by not stopping in front of the stopped vehicle to check whether it was safe to cross.

Blok said he considered Nolan and Kohl to be reliable witnesses.

The judge ruled that Nolan had taken reasonable steps to ensure her safety.

“I conclude that the defendant is fully liable for the collision in this case,” the judge wrote.

Nolan said she experiences pain in her hip, ankle and back; severe and constant neck pain; constant headaches; eye pain; sensitivity to light and sound; and ringing in the ears; and dizziness and balance problems.

Blok said Nolan, a senior administrative assistant in UBC’s finance department, has not worked since the accident and her social life is now nil.

A psychologist testified that Nolan’s “post-accident struggles are exacerbated by loneliness, social isolation, limited and prolonged recovery, medicalization of life, persistent functional limitations, daily stress, and low levels of local social support.”

According to a clinical advisor, Nolan struggled with forgetfulness, difficulty retaining information, difficulty understanding information, sensory processing problems, and organizational issues.

Other witnesses reported PTSD, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances and symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.

Nolan had sought $5,645,901 in damages, while Kohl suggested a maximum of $747,239.