Seeking Compensation for Lost Wages and Future Earnings After an Injury

When it comes to personal injury litigation, there are many things the victim may be compensated for: medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage and loss. Wrongful death and punitive damages (damages awarded for personal injuries caused by particularly malicious, fraudulent, or reckless acts) may also come into play. 

Another category of compensation that is often misunderstood is compensation for lost wages and future earnings. 


Lost Wages: The gross amount of actual wages you would have earned for time you had to take off work due to medical appointments, therapy, and other time-consuming issues that directly result from your injury. 

Future Earnings: The gross amount of earnings you could have reasonably expected to earn if you had not lost your job due to a disabling injury sustained in the accident. If the victim in the accident dies, their significant other or children may be able to sue for future earnings. 

How lost wages and future earnings are calculated

The way lost wages are calculated in Ohio is relatively straightforward. You need to document the time you lost. This can include full time or part time hours, vacation time, personal days, sick days, or any combination of those. Your employee should provide a letter that lists the total number of hours you missed as a result of your injury. 

You will also be required to provide documentation from your medical professional—doctor, physical or occupational therapist, etc.—such as medical and appointment records, that clearly shows the reason for your missed work hours. 

Calculating future earnings is more complicated. You can begin by looking at past income to derive a base to work from. After that a variety of factors can be considered:

  • The extent of your injuries caused by the accident, particularly how disabled the accident has left you, and whether the impairment is long-lasting or permanent.
  • A comprehensive evaluation of your condition by a licensed medical professional.
  • Your personal information, including age, experience, and all other aspects relevant to your future employment.
  • All other potential forms of future compensation, including past bonuses, promotions, and history of raises, even future vacation and sick days.

Because of the added complexity, future earnings are much harder to prove than lost wages. As an added wrinkle, emotional trauma can be just as debilitating as a physical injury, and although it may be more difficult to prove, can be just as valid a reason for loss of future earnings.

If you are self employed…

If you are self-employed, the evidence necessary to sue for lost wages and future earnings is similar, although the documentation is different. Rather than a letter from your employer, you may need tax returns, bank statements, anything that clearly shows your annual income. Proving future earnings is even more complicated, given that you may have employees of your own, that you may even be forced to declare bankruptcy. 

Which is just one of the reasons why… 

You should contact the right attorney for the job

Personal injury lawsuits in and of themselves are complicated and multi-faceted, even more so when lost wages and future earnings are added to the mix. They require an attorney with the experience, staff, and resources to guide you every step of the way and recover the largest settlement possible. 

If you or a loved one are a victim in a personal injury situation, contact the attorneys at LaSalvia Law. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.

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You can expect to hear from Christine 1-2 days after submitting your inquiry.

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Pay nothing up front. No fee until your case is settled or tried to a jury.