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Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury lawyers

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury lawyers Lorne MacLean, QC and Spencer MacLean

Our Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury lawyers know past and future wage loss claims can total in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the annual income of an ICBC accident injury victim. If you suffer a Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury you need to speak with a lawyer immediately to ensure you obtain the largest possible wage loss damage settlement.

Contact our Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury immediately by calling us at 604-602-9000. Click here to meet with Spencer MacLean at our downtown Vancouver office, your home or even at the hospital. Mr. MacLean’s demeanour will put you at ease as he develops a plan with you to ensure the highest fair damages award. You meet with us for free of course and we are only paid when you are.

ICBC Accident and Personal Injury

Spencer MacLean, Vancouver car accident injury lawyer

 

Our highly rated and experienced Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury team will hire the medical experts, psychologists and therapists to ensure you heal and you recover the largest financial award for injuries you suffered through no fault of your own.

Our Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury legal team read with interest the latest Court of Appeal case on wage loss that dealt with contingencies and evidence to be applied to estimate what future wage loss to a Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury should fairly be.

Proper Evidence And Calculations Needed

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury cases need proper economic calculations and a consideration of positive and negative contingencies that move an award higher or lower.

Wage Loss Claims Depend On Evidence and Contingencies

In Dunbar v. Mendez  the BC Court of Appeal dealt with the Defendants attempt to reduce the future wage loss award of an iron worker and to reduce his past wage loss award. The defendants were only partially successful. The official decision from the BC Court of Appeal website sets out the principles and the result in theVancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury case:

The defendants in a personal injury action appealed the award of loss of future earning capacity arguing that it was inordinately high, and without adequate reasons. They also appealed the award of past wage loss. Held: Appeal allowed in part. The award for future earning capacity was inordinately high, but the record is sufficient to allow an award to be substituted.  The appeal of the award of past wage loss is dismissed. 

The Court of Appeal reduced the trial award of $400,000 down to $250,000.

Loss of Future Income Earning Capacity

[18]         Having reviewed the reasons and the record, I take the view that the reasons permit appellate review. Accordingly, I find it convenient to focus on the critical issue on appeal, namely, whether the assessment of Mr. Dunbar’s loss of future earning capacity at $400,000, in light of the evidence at trial, is inordinately high. As is well known, an award of damages is a finding of fact. This Court is only justified in interfering with a damage award when a trial judge has applied a wrong principle of law or when the amount awarded is so inordinately high or low that it must be a wholly erroneous estimate of the damage: Lines v. W & D Logging Co. Ltd., 2009 BCCA 106 at para. 9, citing Nance v. British Columbia Electric Railway Company Ld., [1951] A.C. 601 at 613‑14.

[19]         I begin by repeating that the trial judge was not provided with evidence that would have certainly informed her assessment. She did not receive economic or labour market statistics that would have assisted her in estimating Mr. Dunbar’s future stream of income as a steel fabricator, taking into account negative and positive contingencies bearing on his occupation, including the risk posed to his future earning capacity by his pre‑existing hip problem. Similarly, the judge was given no economic evidence to assist her in assessing Mr. Dunbar’s residual earning capacity in those occupations that were identified by the vocational experts as suitable for him in the event he had to retrain. Without this information, she was placed in a difficult position in trying to compare Mr. Dunbar’s “original position” with his post-accident position.

[20]         The utility of this kind of evidence to the assessment of damages has been recognized often by this Court because it reflects the fact that an award for loss of future earning capacity, even when measured using the capital asset approach, is not simply at large: Morgan v. Galbraith, 2013 BCCA 305 at para. 56; Schenker v. Scott, 2014 BCCA 203 at para. 53. Such aids provide helpful context to the application of the factors from Brown, by identifying in a general sense the magnitude of the plaintiff’s loss: Jurczak v. Mauro, 2013 BCCA 507 at paras. 33‑37.

[21]         The assessment of future loss requires a court to estimate a pecuniary loss by weighing (even if not assigning specific numeric values to) possibilities and probabilities of future events and relating evidence and findings of fact to the quantification of the loss: Schenker at paras. 53, 69; Ostrikoff v. Oliveira, 2015 BCCA 351 at para. 29; Tsalamandris v. McLeod, 2012 BCCA 239 at paras. 53‑55. The usefulness of economic and statistical evidence does not turn an assessment into a calculation. It does, however provide a useful tool to assist in determining what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances: Parypa v. Wickware, 1999 BCCA 88 at para. 70.

[45]         This estimate does not allow for the contingency that Mr. Dunbar’s hip condition would necessitate earlier retraining. Equally though, it does not factor in any allowance for the possibility that but for the accident he might have worked as a steel fabricator beyond 15 years or that his residual earning capacity might be somewhat more restricted than it otherwise would have been.

[46]         However, it is my view that the estimate should be adjusted to account for other contingencies such as changing work habits in light of family commitments, the difficultly of sustaining long and gruelling work weeks and the possibility of economic downturns. Earlier I mentioned that a reasonable estimate of negative contingencies in this case would be in the range of 25 – 50%; however, these percentages include the most significant contingency: early retraining due to the pre‑existing hip condition. Because the $290,000 figure accounts for retraining, in my view, a discount of approximately 15% is reasonable to account for the remaining contingencies.

[47]         In my view, an award of $250,000 would be fair and reasonable given that the quantification of an award for loss of future earning capacity is not a matter of calculation, but requires making the best assessment available on the evidence.

Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury cases are complicated and take a long time to resolve to ensure you get the highest money settlement possible. Don’t follow a bad accident with a big mistake.

Call our Vancouver ICBC Accident and Personal Injury lawyers immediately after you get medical help for your injuries at 604-602-9000 or toll free across BC at 1-877-602-9900 as we have 5 offices in BC located in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Kelowna and Fort St John Dawson Creek.



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