How Do I Prove Future Lost Earnings in a Personal Injury Case?
Imagine if Usain Bolt got into a car accident and had to have his leg amputated. His capacity to earn to the level he was accustomed to in the future would be severely impacted. And that would include money from races, commercials, and the like. He would be able to claim for the loss of earnings he would have potentially earned as an athlete. How do you prove future lost earnings in a personal injury case in Colorado Springs?
What can I claim for this personal injury?
You may not be a star athlete who depends on his body for his very livelihood, but every one of us needs our bodies in some capacity to be productive. What if you are the community nanny, and the twisted ankle you have because you tripped on a broken tile makes it impossible to run after toddlers? You are entitled to compensation just the same!
Your future earning potential is considered by a Court when an award of damages is being made. You aren’t just entitled to what you lost, but to what you will lose.
When an accident involves a long recovery period, you may be unable to return to work. Any lost wages are recoverable losses when an injured individual cannot work due to physical restrictions or mental anguish caused by the accident. The injured person’s lost earnings (past and future) must be shown using evidence, just like all other types of damages.
How do I prove that I would have earned income?
Of course, some situations are easier than others. For the regular 9-5ers among us, proving our income is as simple as showing pay stubs or bank statements.
But even they shouldn’t stop there. Why not include the overtime you regularly work to make extra income? Why not throw in your average commission earned for sales?
This seems relatively simple. Do I really need an attorney?
Yes. This is not your run-of-the-mill personal injury claim.
Income lost from the point of the accident to settlement is generally simple to establish.
Future lost earnings are more difficult to prove because wounded parties usually heal to the point where they can return to work to some degree. Because of this gray area, demonstrating future lost wages (or “loss of earning ability””) might be difficult. This is why you need us involving all your personal injury claims in Colorado Spings.
Consider a professional painter breaking his dominant arm, thus requiring that he wear a cast for two months. While the fractures may heal over time, the person will lose income during the time they are in the body cast.
How long will it take for the claimant to be able to return to painting when the cast is removed?
The claimant’s age, health, and the nature of job activities will influence the response to this inquiry. An older painter may not recover as well as a younger painter.
More significantly, medical experts’ testimony will be required to determine how long it will take for the person to regain the strength and capability necessary to execute their work obligations. Due to many variables, things can get very technical, and it’s best to have an attorney factor in all the moving parts.
How much would I ultimately get?
The starting place would be your salary. Even after you have proven what you would have more than likely made, a Court is likely to consider payouts like:
- your Christmas bonus;
- money from your “side hustle”;
- the value of your vacation days, sick days, and personal days; and
- retirement payments or other job benefits.
Of course, an opposing attorney is likely to argue that you could have found similar employment or adjusted to the same job. For example, in the age of online classes, an English teacher who broke her arm may not need to reach up constantly and write on a chalkboard. We’ve seen that she can conduct full classes with Zoom and the click of a mouse and need not lose any income at all if she simply pivots to a new job that will facilitate her.
What if it is said that your job was on its way to being obsolete anyway?
Additionally, in light of inflation, the value of your income may not be the same for the next few years. An economist who can properly verbalize this would be helpful.
Having an attorney help you navigate the Courtroom is imperative for this head of damages.
How long do I have to make this claim?
The limitation period for personal injury claims in Colorado Springs is three years, according to the Colo. Rev. Stat. Sec. 13-80-101 , so you should make an appointment for a consultation as soon as possible. Proof of future lost earnings will require evidence from an employer, a medical expert, and an economist. It may seem like a lot, but we are here to help.