In today’s blog Spencer MacLean provides Best BC Personal Injury Lawyers explanations of a major type of economic loss called “loss of future earning capacity”. This loss is often substantial and can total in the millions of dollars for a young victim with a well paying job. MacLean Personal Injury Lawyers have the experience, no nonsense temperament and passion for helping injured victims of ICBC car accidents recover the highest fair settlement.
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Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life form one important part of an injury claim. However, the Best BC Personal Injury Lawyers know income lost past and future is often the biggest component of claims handled by Best BC Personal Injury Lawyers. Probably the most complicated claim for income loss occurs when the court must assess loss of future earning capacity.
The loss is easier to “calculate” if the person is employed at a steady job on a set career path. Assessment of damages for lost earning capacity is more difficult for claimants with uncertain futures such as younger victims who have not yet completed their education and started a career.
MacLean Personal Injury Has 5 offices across BC and handles minor to catastrophic personal injury claims. You never expect to be in an accident but when you are we’ll make sure you don’t follow your accident with an even bigger mistake. Call us at 1-877-602-9900 before speaking with the highly skilled ICBC adjustors.
Spencer MacLean notes the recent high court cases from the BC Court of Appeal explain the approach taken in loss of future earning capacity cases:
 The Court of Appeal discussed the method of assessing the loss of future earning capacity in two relatively recent cases. In Pett v. Pett, 2009 BCCA 232, Hall J.A. wrote as follows at paras. 18 and 19:  In the recent case of Lines v. W & D Logging Co. Ltd., 2009 BCCA 106, Saunders J.A. said this:
 There are two major components to an assessment of loss of future earning capacity. One is the general level of earnings thought by the trial judge to be realistically achievable by the plaintiff but for the accident, taking into account the plaintiff’s intentions and factors that weigh both in favour of and against that achievement, and the other is the projection of that earning level to the plaintiff’s working life, taking into account the positive and negative vagaries of life. From these two major components must be applied an analysis that produces a present value of the loss, adjusted for all appropriate contingencies. I think this to be a helpful framework for a court to follow in fixing a measure of damages for future loss. Some cases speak of the loss of a capital asset and some of the loss of future earnings, but the essential matter that engages the attention of a court making an assessment in this area is to endeavour to quantify the financial harm accruing to the plaintiff over the course of his or her working career.  In Mackie v. Gruber, 2010 BCCA 464, Neilson J.A. wrote as follows at paras. 18 and 19:
 Quantifying an award for loss of future earning capacity is a notoriously difficult judicial task given the multitude of factors and future uncertainties at play. It is not a mathematical calculation, but a matter of assessment and judgment, guided by the basic principle that a plaintiff is entitled to be placed in the same position she would have been in but for the accident, and directed at producing an award that is reasonable and fair to all parties: Rosvold v. Dunlop, 2001 BCCA 1, 84 B.C.L.R. (3d) 158. In Pallos, the case referred to by the trial judge, Mr. Justice Finch set out a number of approaches to this task:  The cases to which we were referred suggest various means of assigning a dollar value to the loss of capacity to earn income. One method is to postulate a minimum annual income loss for the plaintiff’s remaining years of work, to multiply the annual projected loss times the number of years remaining, and to calculate a present value of this sum. Another is to award the plaintiff’s entire annual income for one or more years. Another is to award the present value of some nominal percentage loss per annum applied against the plaintiff’s expected annual income. In the end, all of these methods seem equally arbitrary. It has, however, often been said that the difficulty of making a fair assessment of damages cannot relieve the court of its duty to do so. …