Calculating diminished earning capacity for injury claims

Catastrophic personal injuries can leave victims with serious financial burdens. In addition to expensive hospital bills, medical expenses, and ongoing medical care, victims may be left financially unable to provide for themselves and their families.

Whether the individual is suffers from decreased earning potential or cannot work ever again, the law allows victims to retain a personal injury lawyer and file a claim to recover for these economic losses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, plaintiffs can file suit to recover for their loss of earnings and costs of work performed around the home.

Financial losses from diminished earning capacity

When someone passes away from an accident or is left unable to work, a DC personal injury lawyer will contract with an economic consultant to calculate financial losses from diminished earning capacity. The analysis will look into:

  • The victim’s annual income
  • How long he or she was likely to work and earn until retirement
  • The cash value of the victim’s health, disability, and retirement benefits
  • General economic outlook

The economic consultant further calculates the victim’s lost earnings by estimating future wage growth using inflation and earnings forecasts from governmental and NGO sources. Reductions for the personal spending of the victim are also taken into account to provide the most reasonable outlook for income that would have been used by the victim.

This analysis provide the most reasonable estimate of what the victim was likely to earn throughout the rest of his or her career. If the victim had a wife and family that depending on him or her for domestic support, there may be other claims for the replacement cost of work performed in the home.

Replacement costs of work performed in the home

While it may be difficult to truly put a dollar value of a loved one’s duties in the household, the law nonetheless allows the family members of the deceased to sue for the loss of work performed around the home. Even though no amount of money can bring back the love and care of a family member, our legal system prescribes this remedy to make victims whole again and hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless behavior.

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