When you’ve suffered a significant injury that warrants legal action, one of the most important aspects of the process will be the calculation of the damages that you’ve suffered. Though you may think of damages in terms of the pain that you’ve endured, the time that you’ve lost, the things you could once do that you’re no longer able to do, courts and juries can’t erase your pain or restore your time. The only thing that they can do is translate those losses into financial terms. If you’ve missed work as a result of your injuries — or if you are unable to return to work — then part of that translation will involve calculating lost wages.
For a working adult, lost wages are usually fairly straightforward to calculate. For short-term periods out of work, the calculation will simply calculate your most recent income by the amount of time that you missed. But if your injury is precluding your return to your career, the calculation will take several different factors into account, including the investment you made in your training or education, the number of years you invested in building your career, and what your potential for advancement and salary increases was prior to the injury. The calculation will also take into account the psychological impact of losing your career, which is often a defining aspect of a person’s sense of themselves.
The court will also take into account the impact that your loss of career may have on others in your immediate circle. If your spouse’s role in your marriage was dedicated to caring for your children and they now need to start working, that will be taken into account.
The goal of calculating lost wages is to make sure that you are compensated both for past wages that you would have received and future wages that you anticipated, and that it does so in a way that enables you to continue in the lifestyle that you either had or were working towards prior to the injury. Not only does this take into account anticipated promotions and raises, but also deposits that you would have made into Social Security as well as a retirement fund or pension and the growth those deposits were likely to realize.
If you have suffered an injury that has impacted your ability to continue earning a living, you need an attorney who has a successful record of fighting for lost wages and other aspects of personal injury damages that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.