ICBC Law

BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Erik MagrakenThis Blog is authored by British Columbia ICBC injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken. Erik is a partner with the British Columbia personal injury law-firm MacIsaac & Company. He restricts his practice exclusively to plaintiff-only personal injury claims with a particular emphasis on ICBC injury claims involving orthopaedic injuries and complex soft tissue injuries. Please visit often for the latest developments in matters concerning BC personal injury claims and ICBC claims

Erik Magraken does not work for and is not affiliated in any way with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Please note that this blog is for information only and is not claim-specific legal advice.  Erik can only provide legal advice to clients. Please click here to arrange a free consultation.

Posts Tagged ‘Kelly v. Kotz’

“There is No Deduction for Income Tax” For Diminished Future Earning Capacity Awards

June 11th, 2014

When Courts in BC assess damages for future ‘diminished earning capacity‘ no deduction is to be made for income taxes to be paid on those funds.  Although this is not a new legal development, it is nice when Courts summarize the law in a concise statement as was done in reasons released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry.

In this week’s case (Kelly v. Kotz) the Plaintiff was awarded $16,000 for diminished earning capacity following injuries sustained in a vehicle collision.  The basis of the award was that the Plaintiff needed to attend a rehabilitation program to address her injuries and this was an assessment of her anticipated lost earnings during this time.  ICBC argued the award should be reduced by tax obligations.  Madam Justice Hyslop rejected this argument and provided the following concise reasons:

[4]             The burden of proof is whether there is a real and substantial possibility that the plaintiff will suffer a future loss of income. Ms. Kelly has met that burden. Ms. Kelly seeks $16,000.00 as a loss of wages while she pursues the program recommended by Dr. Brownlee. This future loss of income is based on Ms. Kelly’s annual income of $60,000.00 and benefits roughly estimated at $500.00 per month. Ms. Kelly will need to take three months off to attend this program; this is the basis of the loss.

[5]             The defendants did not dispute these numbers, but disputed whether it should be a net amount as opposed to a gross amount.

[6]             Past loss of income is a net amount after deduction of income tax. Future loss of earnings is an assessment and there is no deduction for income tax: Arnold v. Teno, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 287

[8]             I order that the plaintiff be awarded $16,000.00 for future loss of income.

 


$45,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Lingering but Resolving Soft Tissue Injury

February 18th, 2014

Adding to this site’s archived case summaries addressing soft tissue injury damages, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, assessing damages for a lingering whiplash injury.

In this week’s case (Kelly v. Kotz) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2009 collision.  The Defendant admitted fault.  The Plaintiff suffered a whiplash type injury which caused chronic headaches.  Although there was improvement with time some symptoms still lingered at the time of trial.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $45,000 Madam Justice Hyslop provided the following reasons:

[100]     I do find that in the accident the plaintiff suffered neck and upper back injuries, and that headaches are a symptom of those injuries…

[105]     She stated that six months after the accident there were days that she felt normal, though there were times that the headaches got worse as to severity and duration and affected her level of concentration. These descriptions are consistent with her reporting to Sarah Robson and Carey Jones.

[106]     When Dr. Brownlee saw the plaintiff, she had normal range of motion and some pain with flexion, particularly with the extension of her neck. The plaintiff told Dr. Brownlee that her symptoms gradually improved, but never resolved themselves completely…

[122]     I conclude that the plaintiff’s symptoms have improved as she described to Dr. Brownlee and will continue to improve.

[123]     In assessing non-pecuniary damages, I considered the plaintiff’s special circumstances and the case law cited to me by both plaintiff and defendants.

[124]     I award $45,000.00 for non-pecuniary damages.