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Georgia Law Regarding Lost Wages/Income in Injury Lawsuits

Posted in Personal Injury on June 3, 2020

Sustaining an injury can be a tremendous setback for a victim and their family. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, there may be various types of compensation available for your losses. Several types of compensation that are often available to personal injury victims revolve around income.

Lost wages in GA

What kind of lost wages are counted as damages?

Anytime a person is injured, there is a chance that the injury will keep them from working temporarily or permanently. This can lead to various types of damages being available for victims in these cases, including:

  • Any lost wages a victim incurs if they cannot work while they recover.
  • A loss of earning potential if a victim is forced to take a lower paying job because of their injuries.
  • Any loss of future earnings if an injury victim is no longer able to work because of their injury.

Regardless of how long an injury victim loses their income, lost wages can present significant challenges for victims and their families. Not only are victims dealing with incoming medical bills to the injuries, but they also still have to contend with that regular weekly and monthly expenses for the household.

Proving lost wages and lost earning capacity

In these cases, there may be some difficulty when it comes to proving lost wages and income in Atlanta personal injury lawsuits. To understand where the challenges in these cases may lie, we want to look at quantifiable lost wages versus the unknown loss of future earning capacity.

How to prove lost wages

When working to prove lost wages of an injury victim, we can consider this to be in “economic” or quantifiable loss. What this means is that the plaintiff or their attorney will generally be able to prove that they have sustained an actual and current loss. To prove lost wages, the plaintiff could provide documents such as statements from their employer, pay stubs, tax returns, and more. All of this is actual evidence of how the injury victim’s earnings are being impacted when they cannot work because of their injury.

How to prove lost earning capacity

Proving lost earning capacity can be more challenging. While this, too, will be considered an “economic” damage, quantifying this loss is going to be more difficult. As opposed to lost current wages, it can be difficult to show how much an injury will impact a victim’s earning capacity in the near or distant future. An injury victim does not have an easy way of knowing how much money they will earn in the future, and various factors need to be considered. The plaintiff or their attorney will likely need assistance from a skilled economic and financial advisor who can look at factors such as:

  • The victim’s age, current occupation, and education level
  • How much the victim’s salary would reasonably be expected to rise over their lifetime
  • Whether any promotions would increase their lost earning capacity

If a victim is still able to work, but at diminished capacity due to their injury, they will need to show how much of a loss in income their injury caused and project how this will affect them throughout their lifetime.

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