There are many types of damages for which a plaintiff in a personal injury case can receive compensation. While all of them will primarily concern the facts of the case, the plaintiff’s profession can also have a direct bearing on certain kinds of awards for damages. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the ways in which one’s career can affect the outcome of a personal injury settlement.
Two Ways That Your Occupation Can Affect Your Case
There are a couple of ways that your occupation affects the amount you’re eligible to receive from a personal injury lawsuit. The most commonly understood way is through lost wages. This involves the time the plaintiff will miss work as a direct result of the incident. The plaintiff’s injuries may keep him or her from returning to work, or treatment of those injuries might require the plaintiff to take additional time from work.
In those cases, that time missed and the loss of wages can be applied to the request for damages in the lawsuit. For that reason, the plaintiff’s career and salary information becomes important information in determining how much to seek in compensatory damages.
Another way in which one’s career affects how much a plaintiff may receive concerns long-term or permanent disabilities. If the incident results in injuries so severe that he or she may never return to their profession, the defendant may also be held liable for that loss. Under civil law, this is called a loss of earnings capacity.
A Deeper Look at the Loss of Earnings Capacity
This can also be called a loss of future earnings by the court and determines the plaintiff’s sudden inability to earn income. One example of this type of situation might involve a construction worker who lost the use of his arm in an auto accident. Because he can no longer use one arm, his ability to perform the functions of his job are impaired.
This results in a loss of earning capacity and concerns what that individual might have earned throughout the remainder of his lifetime. Calculating this sum is complicated and varies from state to state. Typically, several factors are considered in determining the individual’s loss of earning capacity.
First, the plaintiff’s employment profile is reviewed with special attention paid to his talents, skills, and employment history. Next, a medical expert is consulted and may testify in court as to how the injury will affect the plaintiff’s ability to perform his job. Finally, the court will look at the market values and average wages for the profession in which the individual works.
In considering these various factors, it’s easy to see how one’s occupation, as well as the area in which he lives, will affect the value of a personal injury case. To obtain more specific information about your own personal injury case, it’s important to consult experienced litigators. Your first step should be to contact ‘Maggio/Thompson Personal Injury Attorneys for your initial consultation today. Together, we can review your case and determine the strength and value of your case.