Sunday, May 4, 2014

"What is my case worth?" - Assessing Loss of Wages and Earnings

"Future Income Loss", "Loss of Earnings Capacity", "Loss of Capital Asset", "Future Event Leading to an Economic Loss":

In ICBC personal injury cases, BC courts are faced with the difficult task of assessing future income loss while keeping the total amount of damages within a reasonable estimate. Past cases give insight into the matter and guide lawyers on how to direct the court in determining the loss.

Proof and Evidence

The Plaintiff must prove that his/her financial earnings would be negatively affected by the injury. They might not be as productive and therefore suffer a loss in earning ability or capacity. This might include establishing the earning potential of a person if he/she did not suffer the injury. This is especially true for injured persons facing long term disabilities that prevent them from obtaining future employment. In the case of people who are not able to work at the same pace or working hours before the injury this would translate into a potential future loss of income.

In Perren v. Lallari 2010 BCCA 140, the BC Court of Appeal was dealing with a woman who was claiming a loss of earning capacity because she was not able to meet the physical demands of some jobs thus limiting her job options. It was found that she was holding a managerial position before and after the injury. The Court thus determined that her physical injury did not translate to loss in future earnings since her current position paid more compared to physically demanding jobs.
Calculating the Loss

If the Plaintiff is able to prove to the court that there indeed is a loss of earning capacity then the next step is to determine the amount of damages. This is not a simple case of determining potential earnings because the injured party is unable to log the same working hours. Calculating loss of earning capacity includes assessing if the injury has prevented the person from pursuing future employment, his/her possibility for promotion and the possibility of being hired in more lucrative positions.
There are some limiting factors in determining the total amount awarded for loss of earning capacity, including the person’s age of retirement and potential as a candidate for future jobs. This is highly contentious and ICBC will present factors to prove or disprove how much the injury could affect the Plaintiff's financial outlook.  Try to imagine assessing the future potential for babies, children, or young adults.
Not all cases result in awards for loss of future earnings.  This is why your case should be assessed by a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer with a proven track record.  

Do you have questions about your ICBC personal injury claim or accident?  If so, click here arrange your free consultation with  ICBC Claims Lawyer Perminder S. Tung (Services provided for ICBC injury claims throughout all of BC: Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Richmond, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Tri-city area and all over BC)

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