Young lawyer gets $3.2M for injuries she suffered in car accident

Court awards lawyer $3.2M

A young Kamloops lawyer has been awarded $3.2 million for injuries she suffered in a highway accident while in law school.

The vast majority of the damages — $3 million — cover losses in future earning capacity.

The lawyer was 24 on Jan. 25, 2018, when her vehicle was struck violently from behind on a highway near Golden, where she was headed to a weekend ski getaway. She was a first-year law school student at the time of the crash.

Court heard she was concussed and suffered symptoms including headaches, neck and back pain, numbness and tingling, as well as nausea, dizziness and lack of concentration. She described “cognitive issues” that made work difficult, including having to reread documents multiple times.

The woman graduated from Thompson Rivers University’s law school in 2020 and was called to the B.C. bar last year. She is working as an associate lawyer in the business law department of a local firm.

Since September of last year, She has been maintaining a reduced 0.6 workload due to the symptoms caused by the injuries she suffered in the crash. As a result, she is being paid 60 per cent of the firm's first-year associate salary.

At trial, the woman's lawyers claimed she would have likely been on track to become a partner later in her career if not for the injuries suffered in the accident. Her superior described her work as above average and an economist prepared a report for the court that found she would have earned an estimated $9.9 million by her 70th birthday if she was not injured in the accident.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ronald Skolrood awarded her $3 million in lost future earnings, $160,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $22,000 for costs of future care, $15,000 for lost housekeeping capacity, $11,800 for past lost earnings and $8,920 in special damages, for a total of $3,217,720.

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