Today the Supreme Court of British Columbia provided reasons for an award in excess of $1,000.000.00 for compensation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
The bulk of this award was for “Loss of Earning Capacity”, which is the loss of the ability to earn income in the future. In this particular case a large award was given despite the fact the plaintiff maintained the ability to work. Her award was based on the effect an ongoing partial disability would have on her ability to earn promotions and work beyond typical retirement ages. The courts decided that although this plaintiff was able to continue working, she would be less able to compete for promotions and more likely to retire early.
In other words, you do not have to be off work to receive an award for potential loss of earnings. However, the burden of proving such a loss remains on the plaintiff. The burden here is relatively large. In this particular case, the plaintiff had a manager testify that he felt that the plaintiff was less competitive for promotion. The plaintiff also had a slew of experts and witnesses provide their opinions and observations, including: accountants, doctors, physiotherapists, and neuropsychologists.
This plaintiff – with the help of her lawyer – was able to receive fair compensation for her losses. This process was undoubtedly complex and costly. Retaining a neuropsychologist as an expert can cost in excess of $10,000. This trial involved many other experts. Covering the costs of litigation, via a contingency contract, is one of several ways a lawyer can help a plaintiff receive a fair settlement for their injuries. Most ICBC cases can typically be settled before going to trial. However, in some situations trial is necessary to ensure a proper award.