Lost time does not mean lost wages

In this article, we will discuss some of the aspects of how you can recover lost wages and opportunities.

  • Feb. 19, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Legalease by Doug Lester, Contributor

In a previous article, I talked about how our courts assess general or “non-pecuniary” damages for pain and suffering for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.

I also indicated that there are multiple categories of damages to which a person may be entitled, depending upon their individual circumstances.

In this article, the first of a three-part series on wage loss, we will discuss some of the aspects of how you can recover lost wages and opportunities.

If you are forced to be off work because of injuries suffered in an accident, it is often a simple matter to calculate how many hours or days you miss from your job because of your injuries, and multiply that by your hourly wage or salary.

But what if you are self-employed and have no choice but to work, but at a reduced capacity?

What if you were just about to start a new job and, because you were injured, missed out on that job because of your injuries?

What if you are a seasonal worker and are injured during the off-season and can’t go back when you are supposed to?

These are just some of the scenarios that arise in personal injury law, and each of these situations can result in an entitlement to recover damages.

The tricky part is collecting the necessary evidence and then piecing it together in order to prove that a loss has occurred.

Judges and juries need to be able to look to all the circumstances of a person’s vocational life, including their work history, levels of pay, periods of unemployment, skills, aptitudes and  ambitions  that may or may not have presented themselves between the date of the accident and injury and the time of trial.

When you have a lawyer working for you who is skilled and knowledgeable in the area of personal injury law, he or she can explore all of the relevant factors that may apply to any given case.

In my next article, I will discuss in more detail how “net” wage loss differs from “gross” wage loss, and where net wage loss comes into play.

Doug is a partner with RDM Lawyers in Abbotsford.  He practises in the areas of personal injury and labour and employment law.  If you have questions or comments regarding this article, please email legalease@abbynews.com.