Determining Lost Future Wages After a Car Accident

Determining Lost Future Wages After a Car Accident

If you were injured from a car crash in which you were not at fault, you are likely entitled to numerous types of damages.  One type is “lost wages” damages, meant to compensate you for any income that you did not earn because, for example, your injuries meant that you had to spend time recovering and rehabilitating from your injuries.  You are entitled to compensation for wages that you lost immediately after the accident, but also if your injuries prevented you from earing other income in the future that you would have received but for the accident.

Future Lost Wages: Loss of Earning Capacity

As noted above, lost wages damages also include any loss of earning capacity for the future due to the accident that you sustained.  If your injury was quite severe and caused some long-term disability or condition that prevents you from making as much as you did before the accident, you are probably entitled to loss of earning capacity.  Further, future lost wages calculations also take into account your earning potential in the future and how that changed on account of your accident.

Examples of long-lasting repercussions or injuries that could affect your future earning capacity include physical injury that affects mobility, speech, hearing, or cognitive functions, and also the loss of physical endurance or strength, particularly if your job is physically demanding.

You will also need to gather some information if you are going to claim loss of future earning potential because you need to prove what your earning potential was before the car accident.  As in all cases, the more documentation you have of your past payment history, your promotion history, overtime history, your bonuses, sick and leave pay will be helpful to your case.

In calculating (and negotiating or contesting) the amount of lost earning capacity damages that you are entitled to, there are a number of factors that come into play.  For example, your age, whether you were up for/on track for promotion(s), habits, general health, whether you could be retrained for other positions that paid as much as what you earned before the accident would all be considered and disputed in your negotiations with the insurance companies or opposing party (if your case continues to court).  

Lost Opportunities

The car crash and your resulting injuries and recovery process could also have forced you to suffer lost opportunities that could have earned you more income.  You are also entitled to compensation for these lost opportunities.

Lost opportunities could take the form of having had to miss an interview, or a big sales interview or pitch because of your injuries.  This form of lost earnings damages is the least predictable.  Even so, if you can provide some evidence of your lost opportunities, this will certainly give an added boost to your end recovery.

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