Personal Injuries – Changes to Income Loss Compensation

There has recently been an important Court ruling affecting personal injury law in British Columbia. The British Columbia Court of Appeal’s recent decision in the Grewal v. Naumann case has clarified the legal principles that govern compensation awarded for Past Loss of Income Opportunity.

Past loss of Income Opportunity is one of the types of claims which can be made when an injury results from a wrongdoer’s negligence. Reductions in a person’s ability to earn income can form a significant portion of a personal injury claim.

Previous to the Grewal decision there were several decisions from BC’s lower level courts that said a plaintiff had to prove a reduction in their past income earning capacity on the balance of probabilities (ie: greater than 50%). The Court of Appeal has now said this approach is incorrect and that a plaintiff is only required to prove “ a real and substantial possibility” of a past event(s) leading to an income loss.

If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another it is important to understand that your claim for lost income can go beyond simply lost wages. For example, compensation can also be available for other reductions in income such as lost sick days, delays in schooling or training, lost opportunities for promotions and pay raises and lost business income. Within the Greval decision, the Court of Appeal specifically pointed out that economic and statistical evidence from experts can be a useful tool in proving the likelihood of hypothetical events leading to income loss.

The full text of the decision in Grewal v. Naumann is available through the following link: Grewal v. Naumann

Putting together the necessary evidence to effectively prove a reduction in income earning capacity can be a difficult, time consuming, and nuanced task. If you are injured and injuries are affecting the ability to earn income a personal injury lawyer can effectively gather the necessary evidence to prove your claims. Effective evidence ensures you receive fair compensation. HSJ has a team of local lawyers experienced in personal injury law. You should ensure that you, and those close to you, have the necessary legal assistance to obtain a full understanding of your claim.

Call us to set up your free consultation.

~Justin Haines

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