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Vancouver ICBC Car Accident Claim Loss Of Housekeeping Capacity

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What happens if I’m hurt so badly In a Vancouver ICBC Car accident and I can’t do my own housekeeping?

In the recent 2014 case of Klim the BC Supreme Court awarded $10,000 to an injured Vancouver ICBC car accident victim who took pride in keeping his home today and organized.

[151]     I find that Mr. Klim has lost ten percent of his ability to do housework and a larger proportion of his capability at yard work. It was important to him to be able to maintain a meticulous home.  It was a source of pride to him.  His fastidious housekeeping, and his home maintenance and repair practices were fundamental to his roles as a father, husband and a person.  I find that this diminished capacity will continue well into the future.  That loss to this individual is significant.

[152]     Dr. Travlos, at p. eight of his report, comments as follows:

…Mr. Klim is capable of doing home chores and activities, at least with some modification.  He will find that certain things bother him more than others and it would be realistic for him to still be active but avoid things that typically worsen his symptoms.  His decision not to prune trees or do a lot of overhead work is very appropriate.  This situation will persist and he will have to hire people to do more physically demanding lifting, carrying, and heavier aspects of home care, including things such as home renovations.

[153]     I thus award the amount of $10,000 for loss of homemaking capacity.

The Judge also cited the leading BC cases on Vancouver ICBC Car Accident Claim Loss Of Housekeeping Capacity which describe what this type of damage claim is based on:


[146]     Kroeker v. Jansen (1995), 4 B.C.L.R. (3d) 178 (C.A.), is the leading authority in British Columbia on this head of damage.  It is a separate head of damage that can be awarded in circumstances where the plaintiff’s capacity and ability to perform household tasks have been compromised by injury.  The damage award is to be commensurate with the loss.

[147]     In Wesbroeke v. Brizuela, 2014 BCCA 48, at paras. 74-77, Garson J.A. stated for the Court of Appeal:

[74]      I agree that the trial judge miscategorised the homemaking award under the head of future cost of care damages.  In O’Connell v. Yung, 2012 BCCA 57 at paras. 59−68, this Court clarified that homemaking costs, properly considered, are awarded for loss of capacity and are distinct from possible future cost of care claims.  An award ordered for homemaking is for the value of the work that would have been done by the plaintiff but which he or she is incapable of performing because of the injuries at issue.  The plaintiff has lost an asset: his or her ability to perform household tasks that would have been of value to him or herself as well as others in the family unit but for the accident.  This is different from future care costs where what is being compensated is the value of services that are reasonably expected to be rendered to the plaintiff rather than by the plaintiff.

[75]      In O’Connell, the required service was correctly seen as damages for future cost of care.  What was required in that case were the services of a personal care attendant for 16 hours daily to ensure the safety of the plaintiff, who had suffered a brain injury, in addition to cuing and guiding her in activities of daily living.  At the time of trial the plaintiff’s husband was rendering this care on a full-time basis.  The judge erred by misapplying case law related to homemaking to find that an award for future cost of care was justified regardless of whether there was a reasonable expectation that the financial losses would be incurred.

[76]      As noted in O’Connell damages for loss of capacity to complete homemaking tasks are not dependent upon whether replacement costs are actually incurred because what is being compensated is the loss of capacity itself.  In contrast, damages for future cost of care are “directly related to the expenses that may reasonably be expected to be required” (O’Connell at para. 67) and cannot be awarded should no such reasonable expectation of an actual future expense be found.  In the instant case, the evidence supports an award for the loss of capacity to perform certain homemaking tasks; however, I agree that this award should be approached conservatively.

[77]      Gibbs J.A., speaking for the majority in Kroeker, suggested a cautionary approach to awards for the loss of ability to perform household tasks.  At para. 29 he wrote:

There is much merit in the contention that the court ought to be cautious in approving what appears to be an addition to the heads of compensable injury lest it unleash a flood of excessive claims.  But as the law has developed it would not be appropriate to deny to plaintiffs in this province a common law remedy available to plaintiffs in other provinces and in other common law jurisdictions. It will be the duty of trial judges and this Court to restrain awards for this type of claim to an amount of compensation commensurate with the loss. With respect to other heads of loss which are predicated upon the uncertain happening of future events measures have been devised to prevent the awards from being excessive.  It would be reasonable to expect that a similar regime of reasonableness will develop in respect of the kind of claim at issue in this case.

If you have a VANCOUVER ICBC Car Accident Claim LOSS OF HOUSEKEEPING CAPACITY claim call us at 604-602-9000.

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