A common method of assessing this value is to project the income the plaintiff would have earned in the period between the injury and the trial had the injury not occurred, taking into account all realistic contingencies, and to award the difference between the projected income and the actual income the plaintiff did earn or was capable of earning during that period. In doing so, it is necessary to weigh possibilities and probabilities of hypothetical events, which are given weight according to their relative likelihood: Reilly v. Lynn, 2003 BCCA 49 at para. 101.
Projecting what a plaintiff would have earned in the past had he not been injured is a hypothetical exercise. While the standard of proof relating to actual past events is a balance of probabilities, a hypothetical possibility will be taken into consideration as long as it is a real and substantial possibility and not mere speculation: Grewal v. Naumann, 2017 BCCA 158 at para. 48.
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