It is common for personal injury victims to lose earnings in some capacity as the result of an injury. Loss of earnings after an injury can come in many forms. For example, if the victim has to use sick leave because of their injury or medical care, the victim can seek reimbursement for the value of the sick time used. Similarly, if the victim is an hourly employee and cannot earn wages, the victim can determine how much time they would have worked, and use that information as a basis for calculating the amount of wages lost because of the injury.
Proving lost earnings can be much more complicated, though. For example, for those who work on a commission, it can be difficult to prove that a certain amount of commissions would have been earned if the victim had not been injured. Or, for victims who have recently started a new business venture, it can be difficult to project how the venture would have gone. For these types of cases, lost earnings can sometimes be proven. The method for doing so, though, depends on the unique circumstances of each case. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can be very helpful in these situations.
While calculating the victim’s lost earnings up to the point of settlement or trial can be straight-forward, calculating future lost earnings can be much more challenging. In some cases, where the nature of the injury will permanently impair or compromise the victim’s ability to continue doing their job, the losses can be devastating. Obtaining compensation for these future losses often requires the victim to consult with a variety of experts, who, working together, can develop an opinion on the victim’s future restrictions, work-life expectancy, future earning capacity, and the total amount of earnings the victim will lose over their lifetime. Hiring a personal injury lawyer that understands how to properly prove a victim’s future lost earning potential can literally increase the value of a case by tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.