The courts have long held that a plaintiff in a personal injury case should be awarded damages necessary to place them in the same position they would have been if the accident had never occurred. At times it can be challenging for the courts to identify and determine the magnitude of losses suffered by an individual. This is especially true in cases when an individual is self-employed and/or operates their own business.
Often when an individual operates their own personal business they suffer a loss of revenue due to their reduced productivity as a result of the limitations of their injuries. This loss can often be shown by examining the revenue of the business in the years prior to the accident.
The losses suffered by a self-employed individual may not directly be a loss of revenue but an increase in expenses as they have to rely upon additional staff to assist them in their work duties. The cost of the increased expenses to operate your business are claimable as a loss in a personal injury action.
An individual can also derive multiple benefits from operating their own business such as the ability to have their business pay some expenses that they otherwise may have had to incur including paying a portion of their rent/mortgage and utilities for their residence as a business expense and paying for the insurance, fuel and maintenance of vehicle’s that are also used both for personal use and business. If a plaintiff is no longer able to operate their own business they will have lost both their recorded revenue and the economic benefits of operating their own business.
It is important to ensure that a claim is made for all the economic losses suffered by a plaintiff including the reduced revenue from the business, the potentially increased expenses of operating a business when injured and the loss of the benefits of operating a private business.