Monday, November 15, 2010

Past and Future Lost Earnings/Earning Capacity in Pittsburgh

In Pittsburgh personal injury law I often work with people whose injuries cause them to miss work. In some cases the injuries are so significant that the person may never be able to work again. In such circumstances a victim of negligence, regardless of type, is entitled to seek compensation for their lost earnings. When this request is made at trial an injured person may seek past and future lost wages.

The law states that a plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for past lost earnings or the amount of earnings that he has lost up to the time of the trial as a result of his injuries. This amount is the difference between what he could have earned but for the harm and less any amount of money he actually earned in any employment. This is the case even if the person was not working at the time of injury.

Additionally, the plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for any loss or reduction of future earning capacity that he will suffer as a result of a decrease in or loss of future productivity. Future productivity is the increase in wages or compensation that the plaintiff would have received, had he not sustained the injury. To make a claim for loss of future earning capacity the plaintiff must provide evidence through an actuary or economist who has computed the loss of earnings.

But just because a plaintiff offers evidence that they will suffer a future loss of earnings does not mean that such monies are automatically recoverable. To the contrary, recovery depends on whether the jury believes that the plaintiff has sustained a loss of productivity. The evidence of loss serves only as a guide for the jury to reach a decision.

It is important to remember that a plaintiff can prove a loss of past lost earnings through her own testimony alone. In order to recover for future lost earnings, however, a plaintiff must offer testimony from a qualified expert. Share this post :
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