Being Paid For Future Career Earnings After An Accident
You may be owed a variety of damages after a car accident. The at-fault driver and their insurer must pay your medical treatment costs, fix your vehicle, and pay you lost wages. However, another category of damage that affects certain people is known as lost future earnings. Read on to find out more.
Lost Wages vs. Lost Future Earnings
Lost wages are a form of damage owed to accident victims when they lose time from work because of the accident. The time is added up and the victim is paid their lost income based on their salary and any paid time off they used. However, lost future earnings damages are concerned with what would have been rather than what was.
What Is Lost Future Earnings?
Some accidents cause enough physical harm to a victim that they may be unable to work in their career again. When a victim is educated to work in a particular field and has several years of experience in that field, they may be owed compensation. For example, if you are a surgeon that has lost the use of your arms, your career as a surgeon may be over or seriously curtailed. You are owed money in damages for that loss. Other instances of lost future earnings include:
- Truck drivers with injuries to their backs or legs prevent them from driving trucks again.
- Models and actors with facial damage because of the accident.
- Workers suffering permanent physical damage that affects their ability to work again at their job.
How Lost Future Earnings Are Calculated
The past earnings of a victim are the main predictor of what they may have lost because of the accident. However, those who may have experienced greater earnings because their careers were on an upswing could be owed more. Other factors determining the amount of future lost earnings are:
- Age: In most cases, compensation is based on the number of years the victim is predicted to work.
- Education level: If the victim is educated to work in another career field, that could be taken into account.
- Area: Personal injury compensation is often based on other similar cases in the same geographical area.
What Victims Can Do
Lost future earnings are not automatic. To be paid for this very specific form of damage, speak to a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will form a case based on proof of your past earnings and success in your career field contrasted with your current situation. You deserve to be made whole again. Although your career may be lost, you should at least be paid what you would have earned had the other driver not been careless.