The Value of Lost Time, Wages, and the Impairment of Future Earning Capacity

After an accident, you may miss time from your job, or due to a serious and permanent injury, you may not be able to continue to do the same job. Following the path, we have laid out previously using Indiana Model Jury Instruction 703, we now move on to the third part of the jury instruction, which states:

“In deciding the amount of money you award, you may consider: the value of [lost time] [lost earnings][and][loss or impairment of earning capacity].”

How do You Calculate the Value of Lost Time or Value of Lost Earnings?

The value of lost time and value of lost earnings are both connected to your job and are the easier thing to put a value on when compared to loss or impairment of earning capacity. This is because in order to calculate the value of lost time and lost wages, all you have  to do is provide an attorney with your pay stubs, your work attendance history, and other documents to show what your hours and wages would have been for the time you missed work due to your injury.

The documents allow for attorneys to easily calculate a number that can be provided in court in order to get you the relief you deserve from missed time and lost wages. A much more difficult step is calculating the loss or impairment of earning capacity.

How do You Value Loss or Impairment of Earning Capacity?

Calculating the value of loss or impairment of earning capacity is difficult. An example here would be a construction worker, who ordinarily must lift heavy things on the job, but due to a car accident, cannot perform his job at the same level or at all. The difficulty here is determining what that worker can still do, and if he cannot do it, what future wages would he stand to lose? In order to determine these things, experts must be consulted. Normally, these experts will be able to look at documents you’ve provided from work, as well as the specific industry you work in and determine whether your wage would rise based on your performance, your skills, and your education. They can also determine whether or not the wage in your specific industry will rise or fall. While this number is not concrete, the estimates of experts are trusted in our field, and the numbers provided are the best to get a person the compensation they deserve after an injury.

What are Potential Issues with Determining These Values?

There can be some difficulties when determining the value of lost wages or the value of loss or impairment of earning capacity. If someone does not file their taxes, then there are no documents to look at regarding their wages or hours. It would be difficult to determine a concrete estimate of lost wages or future lost wages. If someone works as a bartender or waiter/waitress, determining the value of future wages may also be difficult. Looking at their hours and hourly wage is not enough in this case. Their tips would have to be looked at and a potential average would have to be determined.

So, How Do I Determine My Wages Lost or the Impact on My Earning Potential?

To find the wages you have lost after a car crash, just look at the days you missed from work, and, using pay stubs, calculate what you would have made. In order to determine the impact on your earning potential, you should talk to an experienced Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer who will help you figure out what you should be compensated. The Legal Team at Hurst Limontes LLC has years of experience handling serious Personal Injury cases and Car Crash cases. We can walk you through the process. We will answer your questions and most importantly answer the Phone and call you back. We will represent your interests and we will explain this process.