If you have been injured in an accident and those injuries have caused you to lose time from work, or may continue to cause you to miss work, you can include future loss of earnings to your lawsuit in order to recover those earnings which you have lost or will lose in the future.
Claiming damages for future loss of earnings is not automatic. There are a few things you must do in order to make certain that you are properly compensated.
Personal injury claims have two parts. The first is known as ‘general damages.’ These damages include pain and suffering, and loss of amenity (aka quality of life). The second part is known as ‘special damages.’ These damages cover the out of pocket expenses you have incurred due to this accident. This can include the cost of the prescription medication, travel to and from doctor visits, costs of various treatments, and lost earnings.
In order to ask for damages for future loss of earnings you will need to provide evidence of lost earnings. If you are employed you may simply need to provide pay studs from the last 6+ months that show how much you have earned. The court will use this information to assess your net average wage for the past three months prior to your accident. Once this number is determined the court can see how much time you have missed and award you the proper amount during the ‘special damages’ portion of the trial.
For future loss of earnings there is a different formula used by the court. Things such as your ability to earn in the future, level of education, past work experience, the field you worked in and past raises/promotions can all have an effect on how much you are awarded in future lost earnings.
If you are self-employed or you own a business things can get a little more complicated. You will need to keep a diary of when (if you were able) you worked as well as keep track any contracts that went unfulfilled or income that was lost due to your not be able to work. The court will compare your past income levels with those you have now due to the injury and use that to help determine how much to compensate you for your future loss of earnings.
If you have been injured in an accident you deserve to be properly compensated for any present or future loss of earnings that have occurred or will occur from those injuries. Working with an attorney that specializes in personal injury law is the best way to make certain that you are properly compensated for any missed work and any future loss of earnings.