Injuries from car crashes may result in significant physical, psychological, or cognitive consequences beyond those readily apparent to friends, family, or work colleagues. In many instances, those who are injured in a car accident continue on with their employment or business interests out of financial necessity, a sense of responsibility to others, or simply out of sheer resiliency in the face of trying circumstances.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal has affirmed an injured party’s right to income loss compensation for future wages in certain circumstances where the injured party continues to carry on with pre-accident employment. In particular, the Court has recognized that when there is medical evidence of partial permanent physical disability which could have an effect on an individual’s ability to work at full capacity, an injured person could be entitled to a monetary award for future earnings. The Court’s criteria for the award is whether the injured person is:
- less capable from earning income from all types of employment;
- less attractive as a potential employee to new employers;
- unable to take advantage of all job opportunities previously open to him or her; or
- less valuable to himself, as a person capable of earning income in a competitive labour market.
Importantly, the Court has ruled that an award for future lost wages, or what is referred to as diminished earning capacity, can be made even in circumstances where an individual currently earns more than he or she did prior to being injured.
Retaining legal counsel is an important step in having the future impact of your injuries fully recognized and legally assessed to ensure fair compensation.