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The MacLean personal injury and Surrey income loss lawyers know income loss to an injured Plaintiff strikes at the very core of that person’s personal and family security. Our Surrey Income Loss Lawyers will ensure that your Surrey income loss and Surrey wage loss case is prosecuted to protect you and your family from financial hardship. Call our BC personal injury lawyers across BC toll free 1-877-602-9900. 

Accident related injuries can make you less valuable in the competitive job market, even if you continue to work full time.

Our Surrey personal injury and Surrey ICBC accident lawyers know that injuries can reduce your ability to work either fully in a Surrey catastrophic injury case or partially in a moderate Surrey personal injury case. Our Surrey income loss lawyers will meet with you personally at any of our four offices or we will come to you at the hospital or your home if you are housebound due to you injuries.

In the recent case of MacDonald v. Joseph, the Plaintiff’s main injury was that he suffered ongoing headaches and leg pain as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Initially, this caused the Plaintiff to lose about 20 hours per month of work from his janitorial business, but he continued to persist and work through his pain. At the time of the trial, his headaches were reasonably well controlled with medication, however his symptoms had not resolved.

The question was how much work the Plaintiff was likely to miss going forward, either in his present career or the next. In determining how much loss of income will occur into the future, the court confirmed that this is not an exact science and there must be evidence that there is a ‘real and substantial’ possibility that the future loss will in fact occur.

The Plaintiff in this instance had worked hard to maintain a business in the face of his injuries. However, the medical evidence established that the Plaintiff’s ongoing headaches and leg pain would continue to plague him. The court found that, although the Plaintiff would be able to work full time, his symptoms would more likely than not cause him to miss work occasionally in the future. As a result, he would be less valuable in the competitive labour market, overall.

Madam Justice Dillon stated as follows:

Loss of Future Earning Capacity

[34]        Dr.  Hawkeswood reported in May 2013 that the plaintiff was able to work full time based upon his current situation and that his career would not be shortened as a result of the accident. However, he expected that the plaintiff would continue to miss the occasional work day because of migraine headaches or left leg pain. Dr. Robinson was in substantial agreement when he said that the plaintiff’s headaches would not be a substantial impediment in continuation of the plaintiff’s career or in becoming a professional firefighter. Dr. Robinson considered that the headaches would recur over the next three to five years with possible improvement and definite risk for persisting headache indefinitely. The testimony of the plaintiff is consistent with the doctors’ reports. The plaintiff continues to have headaches occasionally which prevent him from working. Based upon all of the evidence, it is concluded that these headaches are reasonably controlled with medication and the plaintiff will not continue to lose 20 hours work per month as in the past. The lower back pain is something that the plaintiff has been able to work through and it is unlikely that he will miss work for that reason. It remains, however, that the plaintiff has ongoing headache symptoms as a result of the accident which will prevent him from working occasionally.

[35]        The plaintiff’s janitorial business has thrived since the accident, despite the plaintiff’s ongoing headaches. This is no doubt due to the plaintiff’s hard work and determination.

[36]        The threshold question is whether the plaintiff has proven that there is a real and substantial possibility of a future event leading to an income loss (Perren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140 (CanLII) at para. 32 (Perren); Midgley v. Nguyen, 2013 BCSC 693 (CanLII) at para. 236 (Midgley); Morgan v. Galbraith, 2013 BCCA 305 (CanLII) at paras. 24 and 53). If the plaintiff has established an impairment of earning capacity in the sense of ongoing symptoms, then he may go on to quantify the loss of earning capacity either on an earnings approach or on a capital asset approach as in Brown v. Golaiy (1985), 1985 CanLII 149 (BC SC), 26 B.C.L.R. (3d) 353 (Brown) (Perren at para. 32). There must be cogent evidence to trigger any of the four considerations in Brown (Moore v. Cabral, 2006 BCSC 920 (CanLII) at para. 78).

[37]        In the circumstances here as established by medical reports and the plaintiff’s evidence of continuing headaches that do prevent him from working, the plaintiff has shown a real and substantial possibility that continuing headaches probably will prevent him from working from time to time in the future. He satisfies the third criteria in Brown that he is less valuable to himself as a person capable of earning income in a competitive market.

[38]        Assessment of the value of this loss cannot just be based upon the plaintiff’s statement, accepted for purposes of calculation of past wage loss, of loss of earnings of 20 hours per month due to headaches. The doctors both considered that the plaintiff could work full time and his career was not shortened. He will only miss the occasional work day into the future. It is not possible to say exactly how many days per year this will be. However, based upon a wage of $12.50 per hour, the loss is about $100 per day. Both parties agree that a 30-year multiplier should be used.

[39]        The assessment here is not mathematical but based upon the evidence, all the contingencies, and the overall fairness and reasonableness of the award (Midgley at para. 237).

[40]        Damages for loss of future earning capacity are awarded in the amount of $40,000.

Our Surrey income loss lawyers know you are worried about you and your family’s future. Rest assured our Surrey income loss lawyers will aggressively pursue a negotiated, mediated or court determined settlement. Contact us at any of our 4 offices across BC in Surrey, Kelowna, Fort St John, Dawson Creek or downtown Vancouver by calling us toll free at 1-877-602-9900.

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