A serious accident throws any victim’s life into upheaval and affects them financially. However, it can sometimes be even more of a burden for the self-employed. You can claim lost wages from the ICBC if injured in a motor vehicle accident, but the process is more complicated for those running their own business than for employees.
A Vancouver ICBC lawyer at Preszler Injury Law can handle the complexities of an ICBC lost wages claim for the self-employed, allowing you to focus on recuperation.
The ICBC recently raised its maximum wage loss benefits from $300 to $740 per work, based on 75 percent of weekly income. Self-employed people with private disability insurance should turn first to their insurer to receive these benefits. If you do not have private disability insurance, then you should file a claim with the ICBC for income loss. If your disability insurance pays more than 75 percent of your weekly income, then ICBC benefits will not apply.
Of all the documentation needed to prove your income for ICBC purposes, the most critical are your tax returns. You will need not only your most recent return but those for the past several years. Your returns show clearly your earnings and deductions –some of the latter are “taken back” by the ICBC to add to your income amount – and are the best evidentiary tools.
If you are self-employed, good recordkeeping is essential. If your recordkeeping was less than stellar prior to the accident, make sure that you begin recording every aspect of business loss since the accident.
Much will depend on the type of business or service provided. A self-employed person with no employees who is unable to work, or cannot perform many of the tasks required for running the business, is in a different situation than the small businessperson who does have employees. For example, if someone with employees is able to work to some degree, he or she may supervise their workers. Those workers, however, may not have the expertise of the injured person, resulting in business losses.
The self-employed person may also have to hire someone temporarily to do the work they formerly performed, and that expense is a business loss.
You should have records establishing your pre-accident income versus the amount of money earned after you were injured. While your accountant may prove helpful in this regard, these professionals do not often understand the intricacies of an ICBC claim for the self-employed. These calculations, including loss of future income and diminished capacity, are best undertaken by your legal representative.
If you had the possibility to earn more income and were not able to take on the work due to the accident, that can also become part of your ICBC claim. However, you must have proof of his potential income loss, such as a signed contract.
Diminished earning capacity
If the injury was severe and it is unlikely the person will ever fully recover, it is possible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party and claim diminished earning capacity. Expect the ICBC, which covers the other driver, to mount a vigorous defence. To prevail in such a case, it is critical to establish that the injuries and subsequent impairment will result in future loss of income. The Court also takes into account whether the person can work in any other field and how long the individual might have worked before retiring.
Contact a Vancouver ICBC lawyer
If you are self-employed and suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, an experienced lawyer at Preszler Injury Law can help determine the calculation of your lost wages and represent you in dealings with the ICBC. We can also discuss whether your situation may warrant a claim of diminished earning capacity.
To arrange a free consultation, call us 24/7 or contact us online. Our attorneys have represented negligence victims since 1959, and our record speaks for itself. There is never a fee unless we win.