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Loss of future earning capacity.
- Do I have to retrain for another line of work if I can no longer do the job I enjoyed and was good at? It isn't my fault that I can't do my job.
- Our legal system does not compel an injured person to retrain or to work. If you choose to not retrain or to find alternative work that you can handle, however, the court will award you damages for loss of future earning capacity based on the assumption that you took all reasonable steps to mitigate (minimize) your losses. This will likely involve at least some retraining.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal said the following in the case of Parypa v. Wickware:
"…the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation based solely on the type of work she was performing at the time of the accident. There is a duty on the plaintiff to mitigate her damages by seeking, if at all possible, a line of work that can be pursued in spite of her injuries. If the plaintiff is unqualified for such work, then she is required, within the limits of her abilities, to pursue education or training that would qualify her for such work. If the plaintiff claims she is not able to mitigate by pursuing other lines of work or by retraining, she must prove this on a balance of probabilities. The requirement for mitigation is addressed by this court. . . 'A plaintiff is not entitled at the cost of the defendant to say, 'The only sort of work I like is such and such. I cannot do that. ' Therefore, you must give me sufficient capital to replace the income I cannot earn on that sort of job. "
The cost of retraining and the income loss during this period are considered proper claims for damages.
Another factor to consider is that judges, juries and ICBC adjusters are most impressed by injured people who never give up and make every effort to overcome their adversity in spite of the odds against them. Such injured people usually receive larger settlements or court awards.