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Vancouver ICBC Injury Claim

When you suffer a Vancouver ICBC Injury  you need to obtain immediate medical treatment and you also need to hire a top lawyer familiar with Vancouver ICBC injury claim cases.

The Vancouver ICBC Injury Claim team at MacLean Personal Injury is focused on aggressively pursuing a fair and proper Vancouver ICBC Injury settlement for you. We will meet with you for free and we are  paid from your settlement or award so you can focus on healing.

Vancouver ICBC Injury Lawyers Explain Wage Loss Awards

A major part of any Vancouver ICBC Injury claim case is the money award given for the loss by the victim of their ability to earn a living due to their injuries. When you suffer a Vancouver ICBC Injury you need to hire an experienced lawyer who will ensure you get the highest settlement possible.  Our experienced ICBC injury settlement lawyers can help you get the best possible  ICBC settlement. Just call us now at 604-602-9000 for a FREE initial consultation.

People often ask us how a judge or jury makes the right calculation of a wage loss award for an ICBC injury claim.

The 2014 BC Appeal case of Westbroek and its official court summary sets out a detailed explanation:

“ the respondent, Stephan Westbroek, was injured in a motor vehicle accident. At trial, the defendants, (appellants in this court) were found liable in negligence for the accident. The trial judge awarded Mr. Westbroek damages totaling $838,624.66. The appellants appeal from the assessment of damages for loss of future earning capacity and future cost of care. They argue that the assessment for loss of future earning capacity was inordinately high as was the award for massage therapy and homemaking.

The appeal was allowed but only to the extent of reducing the homemaking award by two-thirds but all other appeal claims including an appeal that the award was too high for Mr. Westbroek’s loss of future income were dismissed.

In respect of the award of $624,000 for loss of future earning capacity, the evidence of Mr. Westbroek’s inability to work in his chosen occupation, as a self-employed automotive technician and the impact his limitations have had on his business, more than supported the judge’s assessment of damages. In respect of the award of $83,973 for future cost of care, the evidence supports the judge’s award for the cost of bi-weekly massage therapy, but not for the award for homemaking. The latter award was reduced by two-thirds.

How Does A Court Calculate Wage Loss In A Vancouver ICBC Injury?

[ [64]         In Perren v. Lalari, 2010 BCCA 140 at para. 32, this Court said that a court could adopt either an earnings approach to the assessment of damages for future loss of earning capacity or the capital asset approach:

A plaintiff must always prove, as was noted by Donald J.A. in Steward, by Bauman J. in Chang, and by Tysoe J.A. in Romanchych, that there is a real and substantial possibility of a future event leading to an income loss. If the plaintiff discharges that burden of proof, then depending upon the facts of the case, the plaintiff may prove the quantification of that loss of earning capacity, either on an earnings approach, as in Steenblok, or a capital asset approach, as in Brown. The former approach will be more useful when the loss is more easily measurable, as it was in Steenblok. The latter approach will be more useful when the loss is not as easily measurable, as in Pallos and Romanchych. A plaintiff may indeed be able to prove that there is a substantial possibility of a future loss of income despite having returned to his or her usual employment. That was the case in both Pallos and Parypa. But, as Donald J.A. said in Steward, an inability to perform an occupation that is not a realistic alternative occupation is not proof of a future loss.

However, Perren should not be taken to suggest that, in adopting an “earnings approach”, the assessment of damages for loss of earning capacity does not remain just that − an assessment.

[65]         In adopting an “earnings approach” a trial judge must always consider the overall fairness and reasonableness of the award taking into account all the evidence: Rosvold at para. 11. This will entail consideration of both positive and negative contingencies that may arise on the evidence. Here the judge held that a further adjustment was necessary to take into account a negative contingency; specifically, the possibility that the business might fail. The judge erred in his discussion by implying that there should be a cumulative assessment based on an earnings approach as well as one based on a capital asset approach. But, in fact, what he did was adjust the assessment, based on an earnings approach, to take into account a further negative contingency. Despite misapplying Brown v. Golaiy and Rosvold, I am of the view that he did not err in adjusting the assessment to reflect a stronger negative contingency than was already incorporated in the income projections.

[66]         In other words, the judge took an earnings approach but, in finalizing his assessment, he considered all of the evidence and determined that the assessment based on earnings alone did not sufficiently reflect the important negative contingency of business failure. The evidence at trial supports his conclusion that an adjustment for the negative contingency of a possible business failure was necessary. He did not err in making this adjustment. I would dismiss this ground of appeal.

Vancouver ICBC Injury Claims for wage loss are tricky and it makes sense for you to have an experienced lawyer familiar with such claims to ensure you get all the money you are entitled to. Call us at 604-602-9000 to meet with us for free.

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