British Columbia



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Categories of injury


  • Soft tissue injuries (strains, sprains, whiplash, contusions, ligament and tendon damage, chronic pain).
  • Joint and bone injuries (vertebra, spinal process, disc, knee, shoulder, dislocations, fractures).
  • Nerve injuries (spinal cord injury, thoracic outlet syndrome, nerve damage, referred pain, radiculopathy, sciatica).
  • Psychological injury (driving phobia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • Traumatic brain injury (concussion, mental impairment, brain damage).

Most common MVA-related injury

Soft tissue injury or ‘STI’ is by far the most common form of injury resulting from motor vehicle accidents. STI involves damage to muscles, ligaments or tendons and parts of the body other than bone.

Whiplash (neck and upper back strains) and low back pain are particularly common forms of STI.

Because STI frequently involves slow internal bruising, it is common for pain and disability to develop days after an accident. While some people will recover from STI in a matter of days, others may take years to fully recover. Pain from STI that lasts longer than six months is classified as “chronic pain”.

Types of STI

There are broadly two types of STI: Subjective and objective.

Subjective STI

These are injuries such as sprains and strains that cannot be independently verified, for example by an x-ray or an MRI scan.

Objective STI

These are injuries that can be independently verified, such as torn muscles, frayed tendons and split cartilage.

While both forms of STI are compensable, the amount of compensation for subjective STI depends largely on a claimant’s credibility.