23 Sep Eyelash Technician Seriously Injured in Unusual Accident

Many of the cases that personal injury lawyers handle involve motor vehicles hitting pedestrians, usually while they are crossing the street.  However, the case of Starchuk v. Hannig, 2016 BCSC 1655, is a unique pedestrian accident.

In 2013, the Plaintiff was a customer standing in a deli when a vehicle driven by the Defendant crashed into it.  She was pushed into the wall of the deli, breaking the drywall, and was seriously injured.

During the year prior to the accident, the Plaintiff had started to build up a lash extension business.  Her injuries, particularly those to her hands, had a significant effect on her ability to run her business.

ICBC argued that the Plaintiff had suffered either no past wage loss or a relatively small loss. ICBC also argued that the Plaintiff had not proven a loss of future earning capacity or, alternatively, the award should be relatively minor.

The Judge disagreed with ICBC and held that the Plaintiff had suffered a loss of earning capacity.

The Judge recognized that in the year leading up to the accident, the Plaintiff had developed a successful business.  She was an energetic and outgoing person, and her business was driven entirely by her vision.

The Judge held that the Plaintiff could no longer act as a lash technician, demonstrate the techniques involved or be trained in new eyelash technologies as they developed. She had to rely on others to perform those aspects of her business while she was limited to performing administrative tasks. Her inability to develop the business as she planned and her limited ability to contribute to it were due to her loss of capacity. The Judge was satisfied that “but for the accident”, her business would have been more successful than it had been and her income from it greater.

The Judge felt that the Plaintiff would continue to suffer loss of income earning capacity in the future, due to her injuries. The Judge used the Capital Asset Approach when assessing the Plaintiff’s future loss of earning capacity. This approach is not a mathematical calculation — it is an assessment that considers what the Plaintiff would have earned “but for the accident” and what was reasonably achievable in the future, taking into account factors such as her intentions for her business.

Assessing this loss as best she could, the Judge set the loss of capacity at $50,000 for past income loss and $150,000 for future income loss.

Often a person’s loss of income (past and/or future) is a large part of their settlement or award.  Building a case for loss of income can be complex.  Call Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota – we have the expertise to do this for you.