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Approaches for Calculating Lost Earnings in a Personal Injury Case

Lost earnings can be among the most important components of the compensation a plaintiff can pursue in a personal injury case. Besides providing the plaintiff with the means to pay for the costs associated with medical care and recovery, a defendant should also be held responsible for the injury’s effect on the plaintiff’s ability to work, in both the short and long term. Although calculating lost earnings sounds like a fairly simple idea, in practice it involves a number of complex considerations that in some cases can require the advice and analysis of an expert. Personal injury cases seek a specific amount of compensation, which must be calculated in a way that is reasonable, fair, and based on provable facts. When a plaintiff sues for lost earnings, several factors must be taken into account:
  • The plaintiff’s earnings history. The simplest source of information about the plaintiff’s lost earnings is, of course, the plaintiff’s earning history in the period before the injury. For a plaintiff with a steady, full-time job, using earning history may be an appropriate way to arrive at a complete picture. Less clear are cases where the plaintiff’s income history is uneven or inconsistent. For example, a plaintiff who writes novels for a living may only earn a paycheck every two years, and the paychecks may have varied significantly from year-to-year.
  • The prognosis of the injury. In many cases the key component of lost earnings is an estimate of the injury’s long-term consequences for the plaintiff’s career. The defendant’s liability will be limited by the extent to which the plaintiff is expected to recover and resume work.
  • The plaintiff’s expected career arc. The longer an injury is expected to affect a plaintiff’s ability to work, the more complex the estimate of lost wages becomes. This analysis may involve several components, including the plaintiff’s age relative to expected retirement and the average career arc of others in similar jobs. Note that a plaintiff may not be able to recover for unusual, contingent career plans. For example, though a novelist might reasonably seek recovery based on the performance of previous works, it probably is inappropriate to argue that a future work would be a best seller.
  • Other forms of compensation. A plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation from a defendant may be reduced by other forms of compensation that are available to the plaintiff, including disability insurance.
Proving lost wages often requires the expert testimony of an accountant. Accountants who specialize in estimating lost earnings use established methods to analyze factors like those in the above list. Expert testimony helps the plaintiff arrive at a reliable estimate of lost earnings and gives the defendant a reliable means of reaching a fair settlement. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez represents clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. We work closely with each client to pursue the full scope of compensation for the consequences of their injuries. For a free attorney consultation about your case, call us at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Suing to Recover the Value of Lost Business

Owners of businesses, especially when the business is dependent upon the owner’s involvement, often stand to lose a lot when an injury forces them to stop working. A sole proprietor may lose more than just a salary; the business may lose clients or may be forced to close, depriving the entrepreneur of potential long-term growth. In a personal injury lawsuit the value of lost business can become an important component of the plaintiff’s damages claim. The value of lost business is a category of economic damages. Economic damages are available to plaintiffs in every type of personal injury lawsuit. One reason this is true is that economic damages can be calculated with a certain degree of accuracy, ensuring that the defendant is not unfairly made responsible for financial consequences that are beyond the scope of the injury he or she caused. A key problem for plaintiffs who wish to recover compensation for lost business is that the damages must be proven with sufficient reliability to be used by the court in assessing the plaintiff’s final damages award. Estimating lost future earnings can be especially tricky. There are a number of considerations that might go into this analysis, including:
  • The business’s history. The business’s earnings history is of central importance in determining how much revenue was potentially lost as a consequence of the plaintiff’s injury. A longer track record makes historical data more useful. Newer businesses may need to rely on third-party projections to calculate lost earnings.
  • Contingent profits. Although the plaintiff would like to argue that the business was going to grow exponentially and be wildly successful, fairness dictates that the damages award factor in a reasonable probability that the business would not always maximize its profits. This can be especially important for cases where the plaintiff seeks compensation for long-term lost profits.
  • Other sources of recovery. If the business also carried insurance against the possibility of the plaintiff’s injury the amount the insurance paid will probably reduce the amount the defendant is liable for.
In some cases establishing a firm measure of a business’s lost profits can require the assistance of an expert witness. Forensic accountants assist litigators with matters such as these, using well-established standards to develop theories of lost earnings that will stand up in court. Whether a given plaintiff needs the help of an expert witness will depend on the specific facts in the case. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients recover compensation. If you have suffered a personal injury that has involved business losses and would like to explore your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

Leading Las Vegas Worker’s Comp Attorneys You CAN Afford

Leading Las Vegas Worker’s Comp Attorneys You CAN Afford Being injured while on the job can be both a physically and emotionally draining process. Dealing with the physical pain as a result from an accident can be debilitating and frustrating—especially if it interferes with how you perform at work. However, what do you do when you realize that the worker’s compensation coverage you counted on is either lacking or completely unavailable? Medical bills are expensive and many people don’t budget for the onslaught of expense, making a solid Las Vegas worker’s comp plan imperative. Instead of going deeply into debt to cover expenses for an injury you experienced at work, contact a Las Vegas worker’s compensation attorney. One of the common misconceptions about retaining a worker’s comp attorney is the expense. Injured employees feel that they are already over their head with medical bills and are worried that filing a claim with the assistance of an attorney will only add to their financial stress. While a valid concern, consider if you can afford not to file a claim. When worker’s compensation coverage falls short, employees may not understand that they can pursue a claim for full coverage and CAN afford an attorney. If you have been the victim of a workplace injury in Las Vegas, Nevada, consider the following:
  • Was your injury due to improperly maintained equipment or workplace environment (such as slippery floors)?
  • Did your employer encourage you to continue working even after you experienced an injury?
  • Are you having difficulty paying medical and living expenses after your injury?
  • Have you been terminated as a result of your injury?
Nevada worker’s compensation law is in place to ensure that employees cannot be terminated due to an injury. However, if you voluntarily quit your job while you are on disability leave, you must assume all remaining medical and living expenses. Las Vegas Worker’s Comp Attorneys will help you through your injury, and you will not pay until a recovery is made. It can cost you more in the long run by not pursuing a las vegas worker’s comp case. Under the worker’s compensation system you are automatically entitled to:
  • Continuous medical treatment for the injury that you experienced at work (including surgery, pain management and therapy)
  • 2/3 of your gross wages up to the statutory minimum
  • Evaluation for permanent impairment or disability
  • If unable to return to your former position, you are eligible for retraining or school
If you are missing out on these benefits, you absorb these costs, which can be financially devastating. Immediately following an injury at work, Las Vegas worker’s comp attorneys urge clients to schedule an initial free consultation with an attorney to establish a case and pursue the compensation they deserve. For more information about Las Vegas worker’s comp legal fees, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby, Martinez Law Firm today at 702-388-GGRM (4476) and allow us to review your case.  We are also bi-lingual--hablamos Espanol!