What is the test for making a claim for future care costs in a personal injury action?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Fowler v Ford, 2021 BCSC 324 (CanLII):

The plaintiff makes a claim for the costs of her future care. The court must attempt to assure full compensation through the provision of adequate future care which is required as a result of the Accident. The plaintiff refers me to the helpful summary of considerations in making such an award set out in Dzumhur v. Davoody, 2015 BCSC 2316 at para. 244: • the purpose of any award is to provide physical arrangement for assistance, equipment and facilities directly related to the injuries; • the focus is on the injuries of the innocent party... Fairness to the other party is achieved by ensuring that the items claimed are legitimate and justifiable; • the test for determining the appropriate award is an objective one based on medical evidence; • there must be: (1) a medical justification for the items claimed; and (2) the claim must be reasonable; • the concept of "medical justification" is not the same or as narrow as "medically necessary"; • admissible evidence from medical professionals (doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, et cetera) can be taken into account to determine future care needs; • however, specific items of future care need not be expressly approved by medical experts... It is sufficient that the whole of the evidence supports the award for specific items; • still, particularly in non-catastrophic cases, a little common sense should inform the analysis despite however much particular items might be recommended by experts in the field; and • no award is appropriate for expenses that the plaintiff would have incurred in any event.

While a plaintiff is not required to testify that they will use every item, a plaintiff must prove the need and likely utility of the item sought: Lo v. Matsumoto, 2015 BCCA 84 at para. 20.

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