HomeNews Legal News Court Increases Damages for Loss of Earning Nearly 4X: A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains

May 31, 2023 in News --> Legal News

Court Increases Damages for Loss of Earning Nearly 4X: A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains

Personal Injury Lawyer

Court Increases Loss of Earning Damages by $185,000: A Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Why

The BC Court of Appeal’s decision to raise the appellant’s compensation from $65,000 to $250,000 bears significance for a wide variety of medical malpractice suits. A personal injury lawyer in Toronto explains why.

Maxwell McKee Suffered a Bone Deformity Because of Improper Surgery

When he was just 5 years old, Maxwell McKee broke his right arm just above the elbow. The doctor performed a closed reduction to treat the fracture. Unfortunately, the procedure was performed incorrectly and led to a deformity of the bone.

A second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon revealed that further corrective surgery would be risky. Maxwell would have to live with the risks of posterolateral rotary instability, potentially meaning reduced motion and greater discomfort when he used his elbow.

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Trial Court Awards $175,000 14 Years After the Injury (That’s Really Low According to Injury Lawyers)

When Maxwell started working as an apprentice electrician aged 19 he experienced tightness, pain and a popping sensation in his elbow. Though he could perform his duties he suffered significant discomfort that would require him to rest for a few minutes.

The trial court awarded him $65,000 for loss of future earning capacity and $110,000 for non-pecuniary damages. 

Court of Appeal Nearly Quadruples Loss of Earning Damages 

At appeal, Justice Marchand found the trial judge failed “to consider relevant economic evidence in measuring [Maxwell’s] loss of future earning capacity.” It was why, he noted, Maxwell had been awarded “inordinately low and wholly erroneous” compensation for the impact the injury would have on his capacity to earn in the future.

Maxwell’s earnings till retirement were estimated to be around $3 million, making the $65,000 award inadequate. The compensation was inadequate with regards to the accommodations that may be required at future workplaces and did not consider that he may have to switch careers entirely.

Instead, Justice Marchand determined adequate compensation for loss of the earning capacity to be $310,000. Since Maxwell was still an apprentice, he reduced the amount to $250,000 to reflect the fact that not everyone completes BCIT’s electrician apprenticeships.

Medical Assessments Are Absolutely Essential!

Our injury lawyers in Toronto explain why 

Big Impact on Loss of Earnings Compensation, Say Injury Lawyers in Toronto

It may be a relatively minor decision, but it’s one that can have a big impact on plaintiffs everywhere. Proving loss of earning capacity can be challenging, especially if the plaintiff is young and doesn’t have a history of earning, says our expert personal injury lawyer in Toronto.

When judges can’t see how much someone was earning, they can be wary of awarding compensation based on how much the plaintiff could earn. That’s what the trial judge did in this case–reducing compensation to just 2% of lifetime earning capacity–because she wasn’t sure if Maxwell would pass the BCIT’s electrician apprenticeship.

This decision of the BC Court of Appeal raises the bar for loss of earning compensation for plaintiffs, even if they are still in training or don’t have a clear history of earnings. 

Learn more:

  1. Debilitating Pain, Insufficient Warning Not Enough to Warrant Compensation in BC Medical Malpractice Case
  2. Court of Appeal Limitation Period Ruling Underscores Importance of Contacting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  3. Expert Witnesses are Key in Complex Medical Malpractice Cases

Minor Injuries Can Reduce Your Ability to Earn, Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Minor medical errors, like the one in this case, can have lifelong consequences. The discomfort and pain impact your ability to work. It may mean being unable to lift a heavy object or it may mean not being able to concentrate on a task for very long.

It’s why you need to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Toronto immediately if this describes your situation. We help people assert their rights and ensure they aren’t disadvantaged in life due to someone else’s mistake.
Book a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your injury. That means you can speak to an experienced injury lawyer in Toronto worry-free, understand your options, and secure the compensation you deserve.