A majority of us have or will witness accounts of a plaintiff claiming personal injury. He or she may claim multiple reasons for the injury along with millions of dollars in damages.
The difficulty truly sets in when one needs to evaluate claims for loss of earnings, specifically during this recovering economy. Many factors come into play in personal injury situations, including unemployment, underemployment and immigration status. Oftentimes, insurance companies struggle to evaluate the loss of earnings claims due to these circumstances. That being said, it is imperative that each claim is thoroughly analyzed and litigated from the beginning.
How to Determine a Loss of Earnings Claim
In situations where persons have been severely injured, individuals are often rendered unable to work. According to California laws, those who have been injured are entitled to claim loss of income. Although claiming a loss of income is beneficial, providing proof becomes a tedious task as specific documentation is required. If the appropriate documentation is not presented, it is unlikely the insurance company will consider the loss of earnings claim. Furthermore, a jury will not include loss of earnings damages in a verdict. Confirmation from a doctor must be presented in order to receive disability from work. Once this has occurred, it is mandatory for the injured party to evaluate the value of their time. However, this can become problematic in California for the self-employed, unemployed and underemployed.
Steps to Gauge Future Loss of Earnings
When the time comes to evaluate a person’s future loss of earnings, evaluation is not determined by actual earnings, whether prior to or succeeding to the injury. The person’s lost ability to earn money is the main focus when damages are calculated.
For a plaintiff to gain entitlement to recover present damages for future consequences, evidence must be presented that there is indeed a high probability leading to a reasonable certainty that future lost earnings will result from the original affliction.
Situations involving sizable claims for future lost earnings are determined by the party’s education and employment history, which brings much debate. To determine the amount of future earnings, parties generally rely on economists and vocational rehabilitation experts. Before moving forward with this process, certain standards must be met by the plaintiff to prove their upcoming lost earnings.
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