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Vancouver Injury Lawyer Cost of Future Care

ICBC Personal Injury Lawyers

Our Vancouver Injury Lawyer Cost of Future Care Team Can Help Make Things Right

Our Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care team knows people never think a catastrophic personal injury will happen to them. But when it does the results can be devastating for the victim and their families. At MacLean Personal Injury we know it’s not about the money, it’s about justice, then it’s about the money. Our lawyers are committed to helping you heal and to getting you the proper and generous fair money settlement to try to put you back to where you deserve to be after being injured by the negligence of another person.

Spencer MacLean Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care

Spencer MacLean Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care

Sad Case Of 85 Year Old Vibrant Man Struck Down At Bus Shelter

When you are hurt we can help you get the best medical care and you’ll have the top legal team at MacLean Personal Injury on your side.

Our Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care team came across a very sad case where a vibrant and exceptionally healthy 85 year old man was struck and nearly killed at a bus shelter in Delta. He  suffered brain injury, fractures, soft tissue damage and depression as well as having to go through an induced coma. How does a court put a badly injured victim back to where they were before the accident? What if they can’t look after themselves or need round the clock care, therapy and treatments? What test does a court use to decide how much money should be spent to support this poor ICBC injury victim?

Vancouver Injury Lawyer Cost of Future Care Explained

Spencer MacLean is a valued member off our Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care team and he extracted the key parts of a recent decision to help you understand how the courts deal with a Vancouver injury lawyer cost of future care case.

Sangra (Guardian ad litem of) v. Lima, provided a great opportunity for the BC Supreme Court judge to explain the law on cost of future care:

[1]             Mr. Harry Sangra, an 85 year old plaintiff (born on November 3, 1930), was the unfortunate victim of a hit and run collision caused solely by the fault of the defendant, Scott Lima. The collision took place on February 23, 2014, while Mr. Sangra was standing at a bus shelter near the intersection of 75A Avenue and 120th Street (also known as Scott Road) in Surrey, British Columbia. Mr. Sangra had been visiting his younger brother in Surrey and was waiting for a bus to return to his home in Vancouver. Mr. Sangra was an exceptionally healthy and active 83 year old married man when Mr. Lima struck him. He suffered devastating injuries, including a brain injury, which nearly cost him his life.

Cost of Future Care

Preliminary Remarks

[130]     Mr. Sangra is entitled to full compensation for those future costs that can reasonably be expected to be spent to put him in the position he would have been in if he had not sustained the injuries in the collision. In Andrews at p. 241, Dickson J. (as he then was) said:

In theory a claim for the cost of future care is a pecuniary claim for the amount which may reasonably be expected to be expended in putting the injured party in the position he would have been in if he had not sustained the injury. Obviously, a plaintiff who has been gravely and permanently impaired can never be put in the position he would have been in if the tort had not been committed. To this extent, restitutio in integrum is not possible. Money is a barren substitute for health and personal happiness, but to the extent with reason that money can be used to sustain or improve the mental or physical health of the injured person it may properly form part of a claim.

[131]     While “fair and reasonable compensation” is the test for non-pecuniary damage awards, “full compensation” is the approach taken for future care awards. The paramount concern is to ensure there is sufficient money to provide for adequate future care: Andrews at p. 261; Arnold at p. 320; Milina v. Bartsch (1985), 49 B.C.L.R. (2d) 33 (B.C.S.C.) at para. 182.

[132]      In Andrews, Dickson J. said at p. 246, where a person, such as Mr. Sangra, was once able to look after himself, and would have continued to have been able to do so absent the accident, the purpose of the award should be to provide “compensation” and not merely “provision.” His remarks, which I excerpt below, guide my assessment in this case:

The standard to be applied to [the plaintiff] is not merely “provision” but “compensation,” i.e., what is the proper compensation for a person who would have been able to care for himself and live in a home environment if he had not been injured. The answer must surely be home care. If there were severe mental impairment, or in the case of an immobile quadriplegic, the results might be different; but where the victim is mobile and still in full control of his mental facilities, as Andrews is, it cannot be said that institutionalization in an auxiliary hospital represents proper compensation for his loss. Justice requires something better.

[133]     Determining appropriate compensation is not, as Morrison J. said in Williams (Guardian ad litem of) v. Low, 2000 BCSC 345 at para. 25, “an exercise in how to save money” nor is it a “discussion” involving “retribution”. It is, she said, “an analysis of how best to compensate the plaintiff for her grievous injuries and her loss of quality of life that occurred through no fault of her own but, rather, because of the negligence of the defendant”. The “primary emphasis” when assessing the award in cases of serious injury, such as the case at bar, is to determine what “is reasonably necessary on the medical evidence to promote the mental and physical health of the plaintiff”: Milina at para. 172.

[134]     The test in assessing an appropriate award for cost of future care is a “broad one” justified by appropriate medical evidence.  The costs must be reasonably necessary: Krangle (Guardian ad litem of) v. Brisco, 2002 SCC 9. In the recent case of McCluskey v. Desilets, 2013 BCSC 2150 Mr. Justice Steeves said at para. 10:

As above, the broad test for future care is whether it is justified on a medical basis. The objective is to provide a reasonably high standard of future care as a “normal expectancies measure” [citations omitted]. It is full and adequate care in the sense of, as far as possible, care that will permit the plaintiff to enjoy a lifestyle like the one he or she would have enjoyed but for the injury [citations omitted]. It perhaps goes without saying that pecuniary damages are not intended to provide a windfall to a plaintiff and compensation must not be determined on the basis of sympathy.

[Emphasis added] [135]     Moreover, minimizing the “social burden” of the expense is only a factor to be considered when choosing “between acceptable alternatives”: Andrews at p. 248.

[136]     Future care cost awards must also take into account contingencies, including negative ones, such as those that Mr. Sangra would have suffered regardless of the collision, due to his advancing age: Drogde v. Kozak, 2011 BCSC 1316. The extent to which a cost of future care award should be adjusted for positive and negative contingencies depends on the specific care needs of the plaintiff. In some cases, the possibility that a plaintiff’s condition may improve such that his care needs are reduced may be off-set by the prospect that they may become worse, thereby increasing his care needs: Gilbert v. Bottle, 2011 BCSC 1389 at paras. 253-254.

In the end the court made provision for generous future cost of care asking the expert to make a lump sum calculation of same taking into account the judge’s rulings on some but not all of the various treatments that were said to be required.

When you or a loved one are hurt through no fault of your own it is important you call us immediately. Don’t talk to ICBC before you talk to us. Sadly, ICBC seems overly skeptical that legitimate claims are exaggerated or worse still fraudulent. Nothing can be further from the truth in all but a small percentage of cases.

MacLean Personal Injury will ensure you are treated fairly and with respect. Call us to meet with us toll free across BC at 1-877-602-9900.



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