If you have lost time from work as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to make a claim for a loss of future earnings amount as part of your claim. The amount is not a simple calculation based on being unable to work the same number of working hours at the same pay rate over your remaining career. Rather, loss of future earnings is to be determined according to your lost ability to earn income for your remaining career. Your income potential before the collision occurred is given much weight as is your limitations resulting from injuries.
Several factors must be considered to determine the loss of future earnings, including loss of earnings capacity, loss of capital asset, future income loss and future events leading to an economic loss. At its most basic level, the analysis of loss comes down to answering the following questions:
Is your earning capacity impaired to any degree because of your injuries?
What would you have earned if the accident did not occur?
How much will you earn now, given the accident-related impairments?
In light of all the evidence, what amount should be awarded for that impairment?
Lost Ability to Earn Income In order to consider your lost ability to earn income, several factors are taken into consideration. These factors include:
The impact of your injuries on your work attendance record;
Physical problems which will impact your job performance;
The impact of your injuries on your remaining career, with a view to your expected age of retirement;
The substantial or real risk that you will change employment;
The risk that if you lose your present employment, it will be significantly unfavourable to you because of your education and skill level;
The difficulty you can expect to face in obtaining promotions and other employment;
The fact that employers are less likely to hire prospective employees with physical limitations; and
Any prior injuries or physical impairments that hindered you before the accident.
The Degree of Real and Substantial Risk of Loss A successful claim for the loss of the ability to earn future income requires that there be a reasonable chance of such loss of damage to occur. Some of the considerations here are whether you have become:
Overall less capable of earning income in all kinds of employment;
Less viable employee for probable employers;
Unable to avail all job opportunities that may have been open to you; and
Less valuable to yourself as a person capable of earning income in a competitive labour market.
This principle will apply if there is a substantial possibility of the risk of loss, regardless of the percentage of the possibility or whether it is favourable or unfavourable. Documentation Needed to Prove Your Claim In order to make an assessment for loss of future earnings possible, various documentation may be reviewed, including: Your pre-accident prior year’s income tax return and tax notice of assessment; Employment files on pre-accident employment from your current and past employers, including your salary or hourly pay, the number of hours normally worked in each pay period, any overtime worked in the weeks or months before the injury, any special projects you were working on that could have resulted in additional compensation, any promotion you were being considered for but is no longer available, how long you were absent due to the injury, sick days and any vacation used after the injury, any other benefits you lost; Your family doctor’s pre-accident and post-accident clinical notes and records; The clinical notes and records of any treating specialists. Obtaining Legal Advice If you are a personal injury victim seeking compensation for loss of future earnings, you may be uncertain about how to proceed. Loss of future earnings is not awarded in all cases. Fortunately, our law firm has a team of personal injury lawyers who can assess your case. Contact our car accident injury lawyers today at Bronson Jones & Company LLP in Vancouver, British Columbia. We can determine and fight for the compensation that you rightfully deserve.