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Past Wage Loss

Personal injury cases are quantified by the court as of the date of the trial. The trial is usually set years after the injury at a time when it is clear what residual problems an injured person has and how they affect the person’s life. The courts therefore break up wage loss into two categories; past wage loss, and future capacity loss. In your case you will be entitled to claim all of the wages and non-wage benefits you would have been able to earn from the date of the injury to the date of trial. The burden is on the plaintiff seeking the damages to prove in court that their loss occurred through oral and/or documentary evidence. The legal burden for proof of past wage loss damages is called a “balance of probabilities”. This means that so long as the court finds that it was more likely than not that the plaintiff would have suffered their loss the plaintiff is entitled to recover their full past wage loss claim.

It is important to keep in mind that in car crash cases in BC past wage loss is net of the taxes that would have been paid had the plaintiff earned the loss of past income they are claiming. Therefore in cases involving ICBC the courts in BC must determine how much tax an injured person would have paid had they earned the past wages they are claiming and deduct the taxes that would have been paid from the award had they been able to earn the wages they lost. This is due to a change in the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. ICBC lobbied Government for this change to the Act. In all non ICBC injury cases the income tax that would have been payable on past wage loss claims is not taken into consideration and the gross amount is awarded.

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