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Written by: OnderLaw, LLC
Last Updated : June 8, 2022

How to Calculate Lost Future Earnings

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2021

When you suffer injuries in an accident, your immediate concern might be how it will affect your finances. Treating an injury can be expensive, especially if your treatment lasts for months. If you can’t afford your bills, you could face crushing medical debt. The economic strain is overwhelming for most people and causes a great deal of stress.

Lost future earnings is a term used to describe the income a person can’t earn due to an injury. If your injury prevents you from returning to work or performing your primary work duties, you could miss out on the pay you’re used to receiving. The consequences of suffering lost income can be far-reaching and affect every aspect of your life. You could struggle not only with affording your medical bills but also daily living costs, such as rent, food, and household expenses.

Whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, calculating lost future earnings is the same. Most people working on cases involving a loss of income consider a range of factors to determine the appropriate number to compensate an accident victim. There isn’t a specific formula to turn to but the following is a general overview of how to determine the amount of money an accident victim can’t make due to an injury.

Elements of Lost Future Earnings

“Lost future earnings” is exactly what it sounds like. It includes all income a person can’t earn in the future because of the injury they suffered in an accident. You don’t have to be out of work entirely to seek compensation for your lost future earnings. As long as the accident impacts your ability to make the amount of money you made before your injury, you could pursue compensation.

lost future earnings

Lost future earnings can involve various sources of income, such as:

  • Salary or wages
  • Employment opportunities
  • Pay increases
  • Commissions
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan contributions
  • Bonuses
  • Benefits

Calculating Your Lost Future Earnings

It doesn’t matter whether you sustained an injury in a slip and fall, car crash, or workplace accident, you need a lawyer to represent you in your case. Determining your lost future earnings can be a challenge, especially if you don’t understand what it entails. Your lawyer could review the circumstances of your case to determine a fair value in your particular circumstances.

Typically, calculating lost future earnings isn’t straightforward. If you’re trying to determine your past lost wages, you can obtain documentation of the hours or days you missed from work and the pay you usually receive. Unfortunately, your lost future earnings haven’t happened yet. You don’t have any documents to show the pay you won’t make later due to your injury.

You could use certain information to formulate an estimate of the income you will miss out on while out of work or performing at limited functional capacity. These factors might include:

  • Bonuses previously earned
  • Schedule of annual or quarterly raises
  • Average income or wages prior to your injury
  • Sick and vacation days the employer provides
  • Physical and mental impairments related to the inability to perform certain job responsibilities
  • Age, education, employment background, and relevant skills to seek employment elsewhere
  • The severity of the injury and duration of the recovery based on a doctor’s evaluation

Your lawyer will gather all the details they need to calculate your lost future earnings. They can submit them to the insurance company and negotiate a settlement necessary to compensate you for the loss. In some cases, you might have to proceed with a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you need to cover the expenses you expect to incur in the future while out of work and to make up for the future earnings you will go without.

Evidence to Prove Lost Future Earnings

The evidence you need to prove lost future earnings in a personal injury case will depend on the type of accident you were in and a range of other factors. The most common evidence includes:

  • Pay stubs
  • A job description showing the impact of your injury on completing required tasks
  • Previous tax returns
  • Prior employment records indicating the ability to transfer to another position or seek a job elsewhere
  • Lost wage reports
  • Letter from the employer
  • Medical expert statements regarding how the injury limits physical or mental abilities

Contact OnderLaw, LLC

The Missouri personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC understand the financial impact of an injury. When you’re struggling to pay for medical bills, you also worry about future costs you can’t afford. Without a steady income, you face the overwhelming task of figuring out how to afford your daily expenses.

Our legal team knows the uphill battle ahead of you. We will review all evidence we find and calculate the value of your lost future earnings. You shouldn’t be forced to pay out of pocket or push yourself into further debt while recovering from an injury someone else caused. Let us protect your rights and fight for the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

If you sustained an injury due to another person or company’s negligence, call OnderLaw, LLC for your free consultation at (314) 963-9000.


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