The impact of a serious injury extends far beyond immediate medical expenses. Often, the consequences extend well into the future. They affect a victim’s ability to work and reduce their long-term earning potential. The person to blame for the injury should be financially responsible for all its consequences, including this lifetime reduction in earnings. In this blog, the attorneys with Harris Keenan & Goldfarb explain the concept of loss of future earning potential. They explore its legal implications and describe how a skilled personal injury attorney can help navigate this complex issue.
What Does ‘Loss of Future Earning Potential’ Mean?
Loss of future earning potential refers to an injured person’s decreased capacity to earn income due to their accident-related injuries. This is a significant component of personal injury cases. It covers the financial impact that a person may face in the future. The loss could stem from a reduced ability to work, limited work opportunities, or the need for job retraining.
Is There a Limit on Compensation for Lost Future Earnings?
In New York, there is no statutory cap on the amount that can be awarded as compensation for loss of future earnings in personal injury cases. However, it’s not a blank check. The plaintiff must provide substantial evidence to demonstrate that the injuries sustained will limit their earning capacity in the future. The court then determines a reasonable compensation based on the plaintiff’s age, occupation, skills, experience, and life expectancy. Furthermore, a defendant’s ability to pay could limit the amount a plaintiff can recover for lost future earnings.
How Do You Calculate Lost Future Earnings?
Calculating lost future earnings requires careful examination and consideration of many different factors. Here are key elements that are taken into account:
- Pre-Accident Income: The starting point is the individual’s earnings before the accident. This helps establish a baseline for future calculations.
- Projected Income Growth: Experts consider the likely growth of the individual’s income over their working years. This often includes potential promotions, raises, and career advancements that the individual could have reasonably expected.
- Severity and Longevity of the Injury: The nature of the injury, its severity, and its expected duration are crucial factors. These will determine how much the injury may limit the individual’s ability to earn in the future.
- Expert Testimony: Medical professionals and occupational analysts often provide testimonies to support the assessment of the injured individual’s future earning capacity.
- Inflation and Present Value Consideration: The final figure for lost future earnings must be adjusted for inflation. It also needs to be adjusted to its present value, as a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future.
Considering all these factors makes it possible to determine a fair and accurate estimate of lost future earnings. A skilled personal injury attorney can help in this complex process, seeing that all relevant factors are considered, and your rights and interests are adequately represented.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation
The assistance of a personal injury lawyer is indispensable in pursuing compensation for lost future earnings. Here’s how a lawyer can assist you in this process:
- Evidence Collection: They can gather and present convincing evidence, including medical records and expert testimonies, to prove your reduced future earning capacity.
- Engaging Experts: Your lawyer can collaborate with economists and vocational experts to accurately calculate your lost future earnings so that all crucial factors are considered.
- Understanding of Legal Complexities: They possess extensive knowledge of personal injury law and related areas, helping them anticipate potential issues and head them off beforehand.
- Negotiation Skills: Attorneys are adept at negotiating with insurance companies and opposing counsel. They can effectively represent your interests, advocating for the compensation you deserve.
- Litigation Support: If negotiations don’t yield satisfactory results, a personal injury lawyer can represent your case in court, where they will argue in front of a judge and jury that you deserve to be compensated appropriately.
A severe injury can leave your future financial security at stake. A personal injury lawyer can help you demand the full compensation you deserve after an accident that impacts your earning potential.
Don’t Leave Money on the Table – Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that could potentially impact your future earning capacity, do not hesitate to seek professional legal advice. A seasoned personal injury lawyer with Harris Keenan & Goldfarb can guide you through this complicated process, helping you demand fair compensation for your immediate expenses and your loss of future earning potential. Contact us today, by phone or online, to get started with your consultation.