Assessment of compensation in motor vehicle accident claims

A claimant who is able to prove that another person (a “tortfeasor”) was at fault for causing an accident must then go on to prove that he or she suffered injury as a result of the accident. The court will only order compensation (called “damages”) to be paid to the claimant to the extent the claimant proves (on a balance of probabilities i.e. more likely than not, more than 50% likely) that he or she suffered injury or loss.
 
The different types of damages often claimed in personal injury actions in British Columbia can be categorized as follows:
  • Non-pecuniary damages: damages for pain and suffering i.e. the loss of enjoyment of life through experiencing symptoms caused by the accident.
  • Special damages: out of pocket expenses (including, but not limited to, for medical care) incurred before trial.
  • Cost of future care: expected future out of pocket expenses for medical care after trial.
  • Past wage loss: loss of earning capacity resulting in a loss of income before trial.
  • Loss of earning capacity: loss of ability to earn income after trial.
 
The above list is not necessarily complete, but is generally applicable for most types of British Columbia motor vehicle accident cases.
 
The pages below provide information on the above types of damages, and about damages generally.
 
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