Janet De Vita | Watson Goepel LLP

Janet De Vita* Partner

“I get to know each client so that I can make sure their specific needs are met. Helping people get what they are entitled to, when they are in pain and can’t work, is very satisfying.”

Janet is a Partner and Leader of the Personal Injury Group at Watson Goepel LLP, acting exclusively for those who have suffered an injury from an accident. She represents her clients every step of the way until the matter resolves completely. Janet has appeared before the Provincial Court of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Supreme Court Chambers and the British Columbia Court of Appeal, on a variety of matters. She has also helped clients successfully resolve their cases through negotiation and mediation.

Janet acts as a mentor to female lawyers through the Canadian Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Forum. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her young family, as a hockey, soccer and dance mom.



  • LLB, University of Victoria, 2003
  • BA, Simon Fraser University, 2000


  • British Columbia, 2004


"I'm an Alberta resident who was in two different MV accidents that happened in BC two years apart from each other. I retained the services of Watson Goepel after the second accident in 2016 and my cases were just settled out of court this past September in 2019. It was a lengthy and arduous process but my lawyer, Janet DeVita, was an absolute gem at staying the course and assuring me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. My cases were complicated, especially more so since I live in Alberta, but Watson Goepel made me feel valued as a client and went to great lengths to get me the best settlement possible. I would recommend them hands down."Gillian M.
“Janet was always a step ahead of me, and took measures to help me feel prepared, reassured, and supported. I appreciated her direct communication and how she took an approach to my case that was personal to my situation. If you are needing legal representation, I highly recommend Janet De Vita as your lawyer.”K.R.

Work Highlights

Miller v Resurreccion, 2019 BCSC 1719 – 2019/10/09

Award $440,057

The Plaintiff was a valued employee at a community services organization when she was injured in a car accident. The Defendant took the position that her previous struggles with depression and non-accident-related traumatic events were the true cause of her symptoms. We successfully proved that the plaintiff’s losses were directly attributable to the accident. Based on the evidence, we established that the accident resulted in injuries that permanently impacted the plaintiff, making her unlikely to return to her pre-accident state. Ultimately, the court’s award vastly surpassed the amounts advanced by the defence, and included both loss of earning capacity and the cost of future care.

Ranahan v Iron Horse Enterprises & Logistics Inc., 2017 BCSC 759

Award $840,000

The Plaintiff was an active 55-year-old man. He was seriously injured after striking a turning semi-truck while driving his motorcycle. We successfully argued that the truck driver was responsible for causing the accident and was liable for the Plaintiff’s injuries. Prior to the accident, the Plaintiff had operated a successful logging business with his son, but his injuries prevented him from continuing to build the business. He was also found to be incapable of continuing work as a tree faller, and we were able to obtain a substantial past and future wage loss claim. We successfully argued that had he not been injured, he would have worked past the typical age of retirement, which was reflected in the amount awarded for loss of future earning capacity. The Defendant’s appeal of the trial decision was subsequently dismissed.

Payne v. Miles, 2013 BCSC 1545 – 2013/08/26

Award $1.630 Million.

The Plaintiff, a young female, was brain injured at the age of 17 as a result of a motor vehicle accident. As is typical in brain injury cases, it takes time to determine the full extent and particular nature of any resulting disabilities. Further, people can continue to look and speak normally while still suffering various types of cognitive impairment. In this case, it took over 6 years before the full nature of the Plaintiff’s injuries were known and the long-term compensation needs could be properly assessed, at which time the matter went to trial. In this case, we were able to establish the estimated loss of income and the amount of support required to live a fulfilling life. The Award included childcare costs, career counseling, and loss of past and future income.

Peers v. Bodkin Leasing Corporation, 2012 BCSC 271 – 2012/02/23

Award $560,000.

The Plaintiff, a 56-year-old man, was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Prior to the accident, he worked as a boom operator in the logging industry. Initial assessments indicated that his injuries were minor. After we encouraged a referral to a medical-legal expert and a private MRI, it was revealed that there was previously undiagnosed and permanent career-ending injuries to his spinal cord. This claim primarily consisted of loss of income and loss of pension, as the accident rendered the plaintiff essentially unemployable.

Milliken v. Rowe, 2011 BCSC 1458 – 2011/10/31

Award $230,000.

Injured in a motor vehicle accident, the Plaintiff worked full-time as the manager of a pizzeria while caring for her wheelchair-bound husband and teenage daughter. Her employer made numerous accommodations to keep her employed despite a serious shoulder injury. Even though she continued to work full-time, we successfully claimed for the loss of capacity to earn income. We also pursued a claim for the reduction in her ability to care for her home and husband.

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Vancouver Bar Association
  • Volunteer Lawyer, Access Pro Bono
  • Mentor, CBA Women Lawyers Forum

* Practicing through a Professional Law Corporation.

Recent news from Janet De Vita

Portrait of a male witness addressing the courtroom in a trial - legal system concepts

17 October 2019

The Power of Layperson Testimony in Personal Injury Law

In personal injury cases, evidence is frequently given by witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of facts or circumstances related to the case that can help the court understand post-accident changes in a plaintiff’s life. This “lay evidence” provides a broader context for the court to properly assess the true extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. This…

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husband and wife looking over medical injury bill after ICBC adjusted

28 September 2018

ICBC Claims Adjusters: What is Fair?

When you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of your own, dealing with ICBC claims adjusters can be stressful and confusing. Watson Goepel’s experienced Personal Injury Group can help you understand your rights, deal with ICBC claims adjusters on your behalf, coordinate your rehabilitation, and help you obtain fair compensation…

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