Can I Recover Damages for Future Loss of Earning Capacity in Florida?

Can I Recover Damages for Future Loss of Earning Capacity in Florida?

Claiming Loss of Future Earnings Capacity after an Accident in Florida

Being involved in a serious accident is a traumatic experience that can disrupt your life and your future. In addition to the physical pain that you suffer from your injuries, you may experience financial stress from unanticipated medical bills and emotional ups and downs from coping with the changes that your injury has had on your life. What's worse, your injury may limit your ability to earn income in the future to support yourself.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person in Florida, and the injury limits your ability to work, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney right away about your legal options to seek damages for your future loss of earning capacity. 
The future losses that a personal injury may cause are just as relevant as the losses you have experienced to date. You should not overlook future losses and contact an experienced personal injury attorney today for a free initial consultation.

You Deserve Compensation If Your Injuries Will Reduce Your Future Income

In Florida, you are entitled to seek restitution for future loss of wage-earning capacity if your injuries resulted from someone else's negligence. If you are unable to return to work - or if your injuries will require you to take a lower-paying or part-time job -  then you may have a right to seek compensation for your future lost income capacity as part of the damages you seek through a personal injury claim. 
If you are making less money because you are working fewer hours or because you have a different type of job due to your injuries, our attorneys can help project the amount of income you would lose over the course of your work life expectancy and advocate for you to help you get the compensation you need. 
A Florida jury may make a damages award that includes restitution for future loss of wage-earning capacity. For example, say you were 45 years old and making $80,000 a year at the time of your accident and it was very likely that over a 20-year period you would be promoted to higher-salaried positions paying $110,000. If your attorney can present evidence to prove that likelihood, then you may be able to recover compensation for the higher value of future lost wages. 
If your injury affects your retirement or other benefits - such as the money that you are able to contribute to your pension or IRA - then this will be taken into account as well as part of lost future income. An award for diminished future earning capacity can be a sizable amount of money as part of a damages award if you had a number of years of work life expectancy remaining at the time of the accident.

Calculating Future Loss of Earning Capacity

Loss of future earning capacity represents the money that you would have been reasonably capable of earning but for the injury. Florida law requires that the lost future earnings be reasonably related to the victim's injuries and backed by evidence supporting the computation of future losses. 
Calculating future lost earning capacity is a complex process that involves estimating the potential income you would have earned if not for an injury or other circumstances that led to a loss of earning capacity. When representing clients who have sustained catastrophic, life-altering injuries, our personal injury attorneys may work with financial planners to estimate a client's lost earning capacity. 
Here are some steps typically involved in calculating future lost earning capacity:
  • Assessment of Current Earnings: Evaluate your current earnings, including salary, bonuses, benefits, and any other forms of income. These income statements serve as a baseline for estimating future lost earning capacity.
  • Consideration of Career Path and Advancement: Assess your career path and potential for future promotions. Consider factors such as education, training, skills, and experience that could lead to increased earning potential over time and how much income you could likely earn.
  • Analysis of Work-Life Expectancy: Estimate the number of years you would likely have worked if not for the injury or circumstances that caused the loss of earning capacity. This may involve considering factors like retirement age, industry trends, and the individual's health.
  • Adjustment for Inflation: Factor in the impact of inflation on future earnings. The value of money tends to decrease over time, so it's important to adjust future earnings to present value.
  • Consideration of Fringe Benefits: Take into account any fringe benefits or perks associated with your employment, such as health insurance, retirement contributions, and other non-monetary benefits.
  • Expert Testimony: In many cases, consulting with economic or vocational experts may provide testimony and analysis to support your claim. Expert witnesses can assess industry trends, economic factors, and the individual's specific circumstances to provide a more accurate estimate of future lost earning capacity. Medical expert testimony is also crucial in asserting the severity of your injuries and providing a prognosis for how long they will impact your ability to work.
  • Mitigating Factors: Consider any mitigating factors that could affect future earning capacity. This may include your ability to work in a different capacity or pursue alternative career paths despite the injury.
  • Legal and Jurisdictional Considerations: Be aware of any legal or jurisdictional considerations that may affect the calculation of future lost earning capacity. Laws and regulations can vary, and specific rules may apply depending on the location of the lawsuit.
It's important to note that calculating future lost earning capacity involves making projections and estimates, and it may not be an exact science. Courts may consider various factors and evidence when determining the appropriate compensation for lost earning capacity in a legal context. Consulting with financial and legal professionals can provide valuable insights and assistance in this process.

How to Prove Fault to Receive Loss of Future Earning Capacity Damages

You can't pursue damages for loss of future earning capacity if you can't prove someone else was at fault for your injuries. Here are key steps to help you prove fault and establish a basis for recovering loss of future earning capacity damages:
  • Establish Duty of Care: Your attorney must show that the party you are holding responsible owed you a duty of care. This duty is often based on principles of negligence, meaning that the responsible party had a legal obligation to act reasonably to prevent harm.
  • Demonstrate Breach of Duty: Your lawyer must provide evidence to demonstrate that the responsible party breached their duty of care. This involves showing that their actions or omissions fell below the standard of care expected in similar circumstances.
  • Prove Causation: Your attorney needs to establish a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • Injuries and Damages: Your lawyer must show you suffered compensable damages as a result of your injuries. Evidence they can submit includes medical records, hospital bills, pay stubs, and even tax returns. 

Why Do I Need to Work with an Attorney?

It may seem as though the calculation of future loss of earning capacity is relatively straightforward.  Unfortunately, while determining your lost earnings should be straightforward, attorneys for the defense will likely look for any way possible to diminish your earnings award. This may include making claims that you would have worked fewer years in the future than you are claiming, or that you would not have received higher wages in the future. Our law firm has heard many of these defense arguments in the course of representing clients. Our skilled trial attorneys know how to counter these arguments and advocate for your right to seek full compensation for your future loss of earnings. We have experience representing clients in loss of earning claims and understand how such damages are calculated and what is necessary to recover restitution for future loss of wage earning capacity. We work with economists and financial professionals, as well as medical experts who can testify regarding your inability to work, in order to get you the compensation amount that you need and deserve.

Contact the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC Today for a Free Consultation

When you work with our injury attorneys at the offices of the Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, you will be working with highly skilled lawyers who care about you and the outcome of your case. We know how disruptive an accident can be, and how stressed you may feel not knowing what you will do to pay your bills in the future. We will investigate the accident carefully and work hard to prove that you deserve to be compensated for your losses. We have the skill set and negotiation experience that your case deserves, and we never charge upfront retainers or hourly fees to represent our clients. Your consultation with our team is completely free, and if your case isn’t successful, we don’t get paid. To receive a free consultation, call us now or contact us online. When you hire our law firm, your case becomes our top priority!
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James Wayne Holliday

James Wayne Holliday has been practicing law since 1995. He has been named as a “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member in Florida, an honor awarded to less than one percent of the nation’s lawyers.

Mr. Holliday has earned a reputation as a relentless trial lawyer because of his outstanding work ethic and thorough preparation of his cases for trial.

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