Third Party Liability – How much is enough?
No one gets up in the morning planning to get into a crash. However, on average, 695 people are going to experience a car crash every day in BC.
Accidents have consequences. If an individual damages someone else’s property or injures someone, they have a legal responsibility to make it right.
Which is why we all have to have insurance. But how much insurance is enough?
12 years later, damages set at $1.2m
A teen who suffered significant brain injuries when he was hit by a car in Abbotsford 12 years ago has been awarded $1.2m for the cost of his care for the remainder of his life and for lost potential earnings.
The then-three-year-old was walking in Abbotsford when he was hit by a car driven by a 20-year-old. The toddler was thrown at least six metres from the impact.
The 15-year-old now attends a modified high school program in Toronto where he lives with his family. He requires a support team consisting of an occupational therapist and a speech therapist, and he sees a psychologist as needed.
With these life-long, ongoing expenses, it’s easy to see how damages can add up to over $1m.
Future earnings in the eye of the beholder
The BC Supreme Court awarded a widow $6.4m, $4.2m of which was for the future loss of income of her physician husband, who died in a car crash.
The crash occurred when an employee
driving a van owned by a cable company went into hypoglycemic shock and lost consciousness at the wheel. The van veered into oncoming traffic and struck the vehicle in which the doctor was a passenger. He died as a result.
The doctor’s widow was awarded $4.2m for future losses, including pre-retirement family expenses and savings.
The Justice hearing the case was convinced that the physician would have likely expanded his business as a successful laser eye surgeon. There was also a realistic potential for earning business income based on an ownership interest in the laser clinic.
While there was no evidence of a plan to develop and take an ownership interest in any clinics, the Justice wrote, there was evidence that would support a finding of a realistic possibility that the doctor would, at some future time, attempt to capitalize on his reputation and experience — hence the large award.
Cable companies with deep pockets may be financially positioned to cover a multi-million-dollar claim. But are you confident you or your business could do so?
And this could have happened to anyone, driving any kind of vehicle. Would you want to take a chance on being financially devastated as a result of injuring or killing someone with a potential to earn a high income?
Please take the time to discuss this with your family & friends and ultimately speak with us to look at extending your Third Party Liability coverage.
Posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 7:22 pm. filed under News.