The issue of future wage losses is a complicated one. It involves an assessment of future events that may or may not occur. The courts have typically quantified this head of damage by basing claims on events that have a “real and substantial possibility” of occurring.
The courts dealt with this issue in a recent Supreme Court of British Columbia case:
This case involved a 37 year old power line technician who had been diagnosed with chronic lower back pain. After a brief period off work, the plaintiff in this case was not only able to continue working but had actually secured a new and higher paying position. His current and former employers all had excellent things to say about his work performance. The courts found the plaintiff’s ability to work was the result of his “stoic attitude to employment” and that he should not be punished for continuing to work.
The courts did find that the plaintiff did have a real and substantial possibility of having to retire three years early, and there was a 25% chance of this happening. They calculated the present value of his wage and reduced that award to 25%, to reflect the probability of the outcome actually occurring.
This case illustrates how complicated judging awards for future damages are, and why you should always have a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer represent you in any major personal injury claim. The calculation of wage losses is not a simple matter and requires an assessment of the entirety of a case and gathering multiple forms of evidence.