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$40,000 Awarded for Loss of Homemaking Capacity

This is a personal injury case arising out a car accident which occurred on Howes Street in New Westminster. As the claimant entered an intersection on a green light another vehicle suddenly turned in front of her causing a collision.

Loss of the ability to do work within the home is compensable as a loss of homemaking capacity in Supreme Court personal injury ICBC cases in BC:

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.(Kroeker v. Jansen, [1995] 6 W.W.R. 5 para 29)

The claimant was responsible for the majority of household tasks, including outdoor maintenance before the car accident. Since the accident, she says she has been unable to do much of that work and said that she would continue to be disabled from these tasks in the future.

The family doctor had diagnosed the following injuries sustained in the collision: right patellar fracture; right knee contusion; musculoligamentous injuries of the right hip; musculoligamentous injuries to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine; muscle tension headaches; depressed mood with sadness, decreased appetite and mood swings; anxiety with specific phobias of being in a motor vehicle, driving, approaching intersections and approaching other vehicles; and sleep disturbance with difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep.

The judge accepted that the claimant’s injuries interfere with some of her ability to work around her home to the same degree that she did previously. However, the court was not satisfied that the claimant was disabled to the degree claimed. It is notable that the claimant returned to work full-time by about one year after the car crash and she never sought or required the use of outside help since the accident. There was no evidence either that she received homemaker benefits from ICBC after the car accident.

In the circumstances, the court awarded $40,000 as a reasonable assessment for what this claim is worth for past and future loss of housekeeping capacity ( click here for full case Sohal v. Singh,2017 BCSC 734).

   In summary, the claimant was entitled to the following damages:

a)    Pain and suffering –  $80,000

b)    Past wage loss – $44,000

c)     Loss of future earning capacity -$75,000

d)    Cost of future care -$12,000

e)    Loss of housekeeping capacity- $40,000

f)      Special damages- $1,431.79

Total:   $252,431.79

Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

Tags: icbc case examples, ICBC Injury claim, loss of homemaking capacity, Soft tissue injury

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