Under Virginia law, a person who suffers injuries or is harmed in any other way by the actions of another person has the right to file a civil claim and seek monetary damages for the losses resulting from the accident. Among the damages that can be recovered from the at-fault party is the loss of future earnings.
Loss of Future Earnings in Personal Injury Cases
A sudden, unexpected injury can force you to take time off work. Under normal circumstances, you might be able to make a full recovery and return to work in no time. However, in case of a severe injury, you might not be able to work for an extended period of time or never be able to work again. In such a scenario, you have the right to seek an appropriate amount of restitution for the loss of future earnings – the amount of money you could have earned if you had not been injured.
For instance, if a construction worker suffers an injury to the spine and is paralyzed from the waist down, they might never be able to work in the construction industry again. Similarly, if a computer programmer suffers a brain injury and develops a cognitive disability as a result, they might never be able to write code again.
In both these cases, the victims can make the claim that they will never be able to work again due to the injuries caused by the defendant (the person whose actions led to the accident) and seek compensation for the loss of future earnings.
Proving the Loss of Future Earnings in a Personal Injury Case
The loss of future earnings in a personal injury claim is calculated based on a number of factors.
Your Inability to Work
In order to make the claim that you stand to lose money as a result of your injuries, you need to prove that you will not be able to work – for a particular period of time or permanently, depending on the severity of your injuries.
For example, if you suffer an injury to your spine, you might be bed-ridden for several months. In addition to that, you might have to undergo intense physical therapy in order to regain your mobility. In such a scenario, your attorney – with the assistance of qualified medical professionals – can determine the amount of time it will take you to make a full recovery and return to work and calculate the amount of money you stand to lose during that period of time.
If, on the other hand, you are disabled to such an extent that you will never be able to work again, your attorney will calculate the loss of future earnings by calculating the amount of money you stand to lose – from the date on which you were injured to the age up to which you could have worked if you had not been injured.
If you are young, you can make a strong claim that you stand to lose a substantial amount of money due to the disabilities caused by your injuries. An older person who is close to retirement might not be able to make the same claim.
The amount of money you were earning prior to your accident is the basis on which you can build your civil claim. Depending on the salary you were paid and other benefits you were provided at work, a forensic economist can calculate the amount of money you stand to lose in the future due to your inability to work.
Documents That Can Be Produced in a Personal Injury Case to Prove the Loss of Future Earnings
- A letter from your employer stating the number of hours, days, weeks, or months you have missed due to your injuries and the hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly wage you are paid.
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Testimony from a qualified medical professional stating the nature and severity of your injuries and your inability to work
- Testimony from a rehabilitation expert stating the amount of time it might take you to make a full recovery and return to work
- Testimony from a forensic economist stating the amount of money you stand to lose due to your injuries
Importance of Hiring the Right Attorney to Handle Your Virginia Personal Injury Claim
Proving the loss of future earnings in a personal injury claim can be a difficult task, especially if you are self employed or if you are fresh out of college and have no prior earnings history. So, it is important to choose a skilled attorney who can accurately calculate the amount of money you stand to lose in the future and recover an adequate amount of restitution from the at-fault party.
The Virginia personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton, & Washburn have more than three decades of experience in handling personal injury claims and have recovered millions for our clients through negotiated settlements, arbitration awards, jury verdicts, and judgments.
We can work with medical professionals, forensic economists, and other experts, calculate the amount of earnings you stand to lose as a result of your injuries, and fight hard to obtain the restitution you deserve.
Call our firm today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Virginia personal injury lawyers.