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A Guide to Projecting Future Loss of Earnings

In 2019, there were 2.8 workplace injuries for every 100 workers. 

Personal injury cases will often involve a calculation of a plaintiff’s loss of future earnings. The amount awarded is based on a variety of factors. Keep reading to learn more from our vocational legal experts about claims, lost wages, and future earnings.

What makes for future loss of earnings?

First, let’s pinpoint exactly what makes for future loss of earnings. When someone is awarded a class of damages in a worker’s comp or personal injury claim, that’s a future loss of earnings.

This typically happens when an injury is permanent or significantly affects the plaintiff’s ability to work and earn money in the future. Whatever the level of loss of capacity is determined, the plaintiff is entitled to reduce that value in lost earnings. 

Future loss of earnings is also referred to as impairment of earning power or loss of future earning capacity. A plaintiff is not required to have lost earnings to be awarded money for future lost earnings.

It’s technically based on the “potential” to earn money in the future. It does not matter if the plaintiff has not capitalized on that potential in the past. 

How is future loss of earnings calculated?

Future loss of earnings is calculated based on the plaintiff’s ability to earn more money in the future. Past earnings or wages do not calculate it. A judge will estimate and calculate what a plaintiff’s earning capacity was before their injury.

Then, they will factor in what the plaintiff’s reduced earning capacity is after the injury. The plaintiff will be awarded compensation based on the difference in their potential earning power, not based on the plaintiff’s current or past wages. 

How does a plaintiff prove loss of earnings?

The first thing a plaintiff will need to get is the medical evidence from their injury. This will give an idea or prognosis about what their future recovery situation will be like.

Next, a date will be determined on which they should return to work. If returning to work isn’t possible, the plaintiff must determine when they would have retired.

Once the period of absence or length of time a plaintiff would have stayed on the job is determined; it can be determined what money should be owed in future loss of earnings.

Have more questions? Get in touch with a vocational legal expert.

This blog provides a brief overview of the information on compensation for future loss of earnings. However, we always recommend you consult a vocational expert on these matters.

Consider contacting a vocational personal injury expert. At Solutions Northwest Inc., we can help you find a vocational expert or give you general vocational consulting. Our vocational experts are involved in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law.

If you need our guidance, our legal experts are ready to guide you through the process.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

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