One type of claim available to a claimant injured in a motor vehicle accident is for past wage loss. Past wage loss refers to lost wages/earnings from the date of the motor vehicle accident until settlement or trial.
To have a successful claim for past wage loss, an injured claimant must provide sufficient evidence. First, there must be evidence from a medical doctor indicating that the injured claimant was medically unable to work as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Second, there must be evidence showing which days the injured claimant missed from work and a calculation of the lost wages suffered as a result of not receiving wages for those missed days. If successful, Section 98 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act provides that ICBC is only required to pay “net” income loss where a reduction is made for income taxes as opposed to the “gross” income loss.
What happens where an injured claimant does not technically suffer a loss of income because full salary was paid for the missed time from work by virtue of using banked sick leave? Does ICBC have to provide compensation for the loss of sick bank credits?
The courts have long recognized the loss of sick bank credits as a compensable loss that ICBC is responsible for paying. The rationale behind this is that the injured claimant has, in fact, suffered a loss when using banked sick leave because depletion of accumulated sick leave arising from a motor vehicle accident removed a benefit that he/she would otherwise have had. This, therefore, is considered a genuine loss.
The courts have also long recognized that ICBC is required to pay the gross amount for loss of sick bank entitlement.
More information on an injured claimant’s entitlement to compensation for loss of sick bank and payment of the gross amount of the loss can be found in the leading cases of Bjarnasan v. Parks 2009 BCSC 48 and Gormick v. Amenta 2013 BCSC 1998.
See also our past blog post on this issue.