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Loss of Future Earning Capacity

Having a highly skilled Surrey personal injury ICBC lawyer can make the difference between success and failure in your Surrey personal injury and ICBC car crash case. When you are hurt in a Surrey or Vancouver car  accident get medical help promptly and call us just as quickly at 604-576-5400. Don’t take chances with your health or your legal rights. 

The Surrey personal injury ICBC lawyers working for the defence are tasked to protect ICBC and conserve payouts to a modest level. Our highly skilled Surrey personal injury ICBC lawyer team works for you to maximize your South Surrey and White Rock personal injury settlement awards. We’ll protect you during negotiations and at any trial of your Surrey personal injury and ICBC car accident damages case.

Recently the BC Court of Appeal set aside an unfairly low Surrey personal injury award arising from a judge and jury trial. The BC Appeal Court learned trial judge erred in allowing massive amounts of documents to go in without proper procedures being followed and the Appeal court was concerned these documents unfairly portrayed the Plaintiff in a very negative light which could have turned the jury against them. The BC Appeal Court also felt it was inappropriate to leave wrongly discovery transcript with the jury and finally felt the judge’s analysis on costs being awarded against the injured Plaintiff was in error.

In Han v. Park, 2015 BCCA 324 the BC Appeal Court established rules for fair personal injury trials:

  1. BACKGROUND

[1]             This is an appeal from a jury verdict assessing non-pecuniary damages in the amount of $51,300 for injuries that the appellant, Moon Hee Han, says she sustained in a car accident on May 6, 1999. The appellant advanced claims for about $2.5 million in damages. The jury rejected her claims for wage loss and loss of opportunity or capacity.

Here is the official court summary of the result:

The appellant was injured in an automobile accident in 1999. Liability was admitted. In 2002 the respondents made a formal offer for $50,000 and informal offers on July 2, 2009, for $110,000 and on September 27, 2013, for $120,000. At the trial in 2013 the appellant sought approximately $2.5 million for non-pecuniary damages as well as past and future wage loss and loss of capacity. At trial the respondents admitted that appellant sustained some soft-tissue injuries from the accident. The jury awarded the appellant $51,300 in non-pecuniary damages.

The trial judge awarded costs to the respondents, finding that they had “beaten” their 2002 offer when considering its net present value and holding that the appellant had been substantially unsuccessful at trial. On appeal, the appellant argues the judge erred in instructing the jury on the evidence of wage loss; in admitting the respondents’ book of documents containing irrelevant and prejudicial records and documents; in leaving with the jury a transcribed portion of questions from the appellant’s examination for discovery, which were put to her in cross-examination; and in awarding costs to the respondents.

Held: Appeal allowed. The judge erred in admitting the respondents’ book of documents en masse, which contained prejudicial records and documents, and in leaving the transcribed questions from the examination for discovery with the jury.

Here is what concerned the court with respect to potential bias against the injured plaintiff:

[34]         I agree with the appellant that like Owimar, the inclusion of some of the clinical records and material contained in the Exhibit had the effect of portraying the appellant as a difficult, manipulating, and stubborn individual. As appellant’s counsel states, this portrayal shifted the focus of the jury to the appellant’s negative character traits, rather than to the main issues of the trial.

[35]         The respondents’ trial counsel assured the judge all the documents in the Exhibit would be referred to in the cross-examination of Ms. Han but they were not. Some of the documents were irrelevant, some were prejudicial, and some were inflammatory. The Exhibit was marked outside the presence of the jury – the trier of fact – which is an irregularity. There was no document agreement in place, so the basis for the appellant’s consent to the admission of the Exhibit is not clear. Even with consent, the trial judge is always the gatekeeper.

[36]         In my view, the Exhibit should not have been admitted en masse. Some of the documents and records should not have been admitted at all, as their admission was highly prejudicial and resulted in a substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice.

[37]         On this ground alone, it is in the interests of justice to order a new trial.

The moral of the story is to make sure you hire a top lawyer who will ensure you are not prejudiced by any admission of improper  documents or testimony. Call us at 604-576-5400 if you want to be protected in your dealings with ICBC. You need a top Surrey Personal Injury ICBC Lawyer as much as you need a top doctor!



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