21 Oct Compensation for Loss of Ability to Maintain Your Home

The purpose of awarding a Plaintiff damages for the Defendant’s negligence is to restore the Plaintiff to the position they would have been in had the negligence not occurred. This involves claiming compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. In situations of severe disability the Court is often willing to compensate the Plaintiff for the loss of their ability to maintain their home.

The chores involved in home maintenance are physical in nature and are important in maintaining’s a property’s functionality and value. If a Plaintiff can no longer perform these chores, they need to pay someone to do them on their behalf.  The Plaintiff needs to be compensated by the Defendant, so that the Plaintiff can hire others to maintain the house to the standard it would have been if the accident had not occurred.

In Chappell v. Loyie, 2016 BCSC 1722, the Plaintiff was injured when he was thrown from his motorcycle after the Defendant turned directly in front of him.

Prior to the accident the Plaintiff was very active.  He was employed as a firefighter, a very physically demanding job.  In addition, he operated a renovation and construction business in his spare time. He undertook many renovation and landscaping projects to improve his own property.  He did all of the yard and garden work at home, while his wife cleaned and maintained the interior of the house.

As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff suffered severe injuries to his neck and shoulders. These injuries would likely prevent him from performing physical tasks for the rest of his life, including home maintenance.

The Court noted that the Plaintiff was entitled to be compensated for the loss of the value of home maintenance work that he could no longer perform.  The Court awarded the Plaintiff $50,000 for the loss of his capacity to maintain his home.