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Calculating Future Loss Of Income In Personal Injury Cases


One loss that many injury victims sustain is lost wages. Certainly, lost wages are recoverable in a personal injury case. Your current lost wages are generally easy to calculate just by looking at what you made or earned and seeing how it differs from your earnings after the accident.

Future Lost Wages

However, you also can recover future lost wages—that is, lost income that you will lose in the future, but which you haven’t actually lost yet. As you can imagine, because these damages are future-looking, to some extent, it requires looking into the future to estimate what your loss of income may be.

There really are two kinds of lost wages: Your actual loss of future income, and your loss of income capacity.

Future Income

Lost future income is somewhat more straightforward. If, for example, your doctor says you will need surgery in the future, and that surgery will keep you out of work for two months, that’s two months of future wages that you will lose.

If your doctor says you can expect to be in too much pain to work and thus you will miss about 2-3 days every month you can calculate what your lost income would be.

Earning Capacity

Loss of earning capacity is a much larger measure of damages. Here, you are looking at “big picture” damages. For example, let’s assume that you are a construction worker, and you were on track to one day be a job foreman, a much higher paying position.

You can do your job now, and will be able to some extent do it in the future. However, because of your injuries you likely will never be able to advance to the position of foreman in the future. You have now lost the income from that “upgrade” in your job position because of your injuries.

Likewise, let’s say that in your job as construction worker, you could have worked weekends, or you could have worked until age 65. However because of your injuries, you now will be limited to 30 hours a week, or you can expect your back to give out on you at age 55, thus losing 10 years of work income. You may have a loss of earning capacity claim.

Using Experts

Often, experts have to be used to calculate what someone’s future income would have been.

For example, if someone is a corporate executive, but now will be unlikely to ever get to a higher level because of injuries in an accident, what would the loss of income be? What would a corporate vice president or CEO in the victim’s industry be paid, that the victim will  now never earn?

These are questions that may not be readily determinable by calculating current income going forward. That’s why these are questions, and measures of damages, that experts must answer.

We can help you determine what damages you can obtain in your personal injury case as a result of your injuries. Call the Clinton personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.

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