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Future Income Loss More Elusive in Personal injury Claims


Determining an amount for future loss of income for ICBC injury claimants just got harder as the Court of Appeal overturns a future loss income award. No new law was created but the Court of Appeal was of the view that there was no evidence of another realistic alternative occupation that would be impaired by the plaintiff’s accident-related injuries. Judge Willcock reiterated  that an inability to perform an occupation that has not been established as a realistic alternative occupation is not proof of a future loss,  Kathuria v. Wildgrove,2015 BCCA 186.
This was an appeal from an award of $310,000 personal injury award for loss of future earning capacity arising from injuries the ICBC claimant sustained in a motor vehicle accident ( see: 2014 BCSC 1274). The award for loss of earning capacity was due to the ongoing symptoms of soft tissue injuries to the claimant’s neck, left shoulder, right hand, low back, and left knee.
Despite the trial judge’s findings the Court of Appeal substituted an award of $105,000 for the award of $310,000 as damages for loss of future earning capacity. Judge Willcock with a concurring panel of three went on the state,

[35]  Further, there was no evidence of the injuries having any meaningful impact upon the plaintiff’s ability to practice any particular branch or speciality of medicine. The trial judge erred in making an award in the absence of evidence demonstrating a real and substantial possibility that the plaintiff would be limited in his profession in a manner likely to diminish his earning capacity.

[36] In these circumstances, I would also allow the appeal of the award for damages under this head and set aside the award of $100,000 for the diminished value of the capital asset of the plaintiff’s income earning capacity.

Posted by ICBC Personal Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A., LL.B. – Working for the injured not ICBC or any other insurance company.

Tags: Legal Causation, loss of earning capacity, Rules of Evidence

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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