People are often worried about lost wages when they suffer injuries. If you get in a car accident and have a head injury that keeps you out of work for a month, for example, you need compensation not just for your medical bills but also for the earnings that you lost at that time.
In a short-term situation like this, it may be relatively easy to factor out the cost of those wages. You know how much you should have been paid if you couldn’t work for a month. But when things get difficult is when you have to factor out lost future earning potential.
How long would you have worked?
One thing that has to be considered is how long you would have been employed. Say you suffered injuries in your 30s that are going to keep you out of the workforce for the rest of your life. Would you have continued working until you were 60? 65? Were you planning to retire early? The length of your potential employment has a drastic impact on how much you would’ve earned over that time.
Would your earnings have increased?
Another potentially problematic issue is that the person who injured you may want to assume your earnings would have always been the same. This makes it easy to calculate the costs.
But would that have been true? Or would you have received raises, bonuses and other types of financial compensation? Would you have moved up the corporate ladder? Just because you’re earning a certain amount this year doesn’t mean that that’s what you were going to earn for the rest of your entire career. The end of that career due to an injury may mean that you’re never going to realize those earnings.
If you do find yourself in a complicated situation like this, it’s important to know about all of your legal options and the steps you can take.