Personal Injury Compensation
The compensation you are entitled to after being injured in a motor vehicle accident comes from ICBC or other such insurer of the driver who is found to be at fault for the accident.
Courts determine what compensation a victim of a motor vehicle accident is entitled to on the basis of precedent. It is possible to predict a range of awards by looking for reported judgements in similar cases. Remember that every case depends on its own unique facts. The strength of your medical evidence and your credibility will be taken into account when assessing your claim.
The most common “heads of damage” that victims are entitled to, include:
• Non-Pecuniary Damages (Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life)
The goal is compensation for the pain, suffering, inconvenience and disruption to your life caused by your accident related injuries. The amount of non-pecuniary damages that you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit is capped around $335,000, being the maximum recovery in Canada. Even the most severely injured person (for example severe brain injury with quadriplegia) may only recover $335,000 for non-pecuniary damages.
• Past Wage (Income) Loss
If you cannot work due to injuries caused by another driver, you are generally entitled to recover your total net wage loss. This is the case even if you are self-employed, receive bonuses or commissions based on performance or miss out on opportunities to earn income.
• Loss of Capacity Claim
This is a claim for the loss of capacity to earn wages into the future because of accident related injuries. In determining the amount, your earning capacity over your working life prior to the accident will be evaluated.
• Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You will typically have expenses for medications, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, taxi fares, etc. You may recover the expense as part of your claim as long as it is “reasonably necessary”. Keep your original receipts for this purpose.
• Cost of Future Care and Treatment
This is compensation for the cost of necessary, ongoing and future anticipated care. In order to assess this amount, advice from your medical team is needed for an evaluation of your future medical needs.
For a complete list of the heads of damage to which you may be entitled to claim, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.