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Loss of future earning capacity.
- How do I pay for all the experts I may need to prove my claim for loss of future earning capacity?
- Our answer highlights an important advantage for injured people in the Canadian (as opposed to the American) legal system. In British Columbia, if an injured person achieves a settlement or court award that is larger than the amount formally offered (in a prescribed form) by the wrongdoer and his insurer before a legal expense was incurred, he or she is entitled to be paid for this expense if it is reasonable. This includes the fees of experts.
This compensation is much less common in the USA where injured people may have to pay all their legal expenses out of their settlement or court award, no matter how large the award is compared to the wrongdoer's offer.
Generally, lawyers for injured people pay the fees of experts they hire on behalf of their injured clients and then recover what they have spent (called "disbursements") when their injured client resolves his or her claim for damages.
The test of what expenses are "reasonable" and therefore recoverable from the wrongdoer is:
- Was it was reasonable for the lawyer to hire the expert based on what he knew at the time he hired the expert?
- Were the expert's fees reasonable considering:
- the amount of time the expert spent,
- the expert's qualifications,
- what fees are recommended by the expert's professional association such as the B. C. Medical Association, and
- what similar experts are charging for the same services