If you’ve been involved in any sort of accident caused by someone else – whether it’s a car wreck, a dog bite, a slip and fall, or another kind of accident – you’re going to incur losses, or damages. Since the accident was due to another’s negligence, you should be able obtain compensation to cover those losses through a personal injury lawsuit. So, how do you go about doing that?
Your first step should be to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Sand Law has a team of attorneys who know how to help clients get the money they deserve. Not only will we know how much money you should receive, we’ll work to uncover the evidence needed to prove not only the losses you’ve suffered, but to also prove the accident was in no way your fault.
What are “Losses” in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The monetary losses you’ve incurred due to the injury are known as damages. Whatever you call them, they can quickly accumulate. Here’s some information on the most common types of losses in a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Damages
There are two main forms of damages in a personal injury case, such as a car accident. These are known as “special” damages and “general” damages. Here’s a look at each.
- Special damages. These are the tangible losses that result from an accident, including the cost of medical treatment for injuries the victim suffers, future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future income, and more. It’s usually not that difficult to prove special damages, because they’re usually on paper. You have medical bills, for example, that have been piling up on your den or kitchen table. They may be supported by records. But insurance companies will still try to challenge them in most instances.
- General damages. General damages are much more difficult to prove, since they’re not nearly as tangible as special damages. You may be dealing with a great deal of emotional trauma due to your accident. Or you might have suffered disfigurement. You may be going through a lot of pain and suffering. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on these types of issues. Minnesota law has specific requirements for noneconomic damages (or personal injury losses). However, Sand Law attorneys have a great deal of experience in this area. We know how to prove general damages in an easily understandable manner.
How to Prove Past Wage Loss
If you’ve had to miss work for an extended amount of time, it’s not that difficult to prove that you’ve lost a certain amount of money. As long as you can produce pay stubs that show how much you were making at the time of the accident, it doesn’t take a lot of detective work to prove lost earnings.
How to Prove Future Wage Loss
Proving the amount of money you’ll lose in the long term due to missing work will be more challenging. One reason is that an injury victim will, in most cases, eventually recover in some form or fashion, and be able to go back to work.
But what if your salary stays the same, even though you would have likely earned raises during the time you’ve been hurt? How do you get compensated for that extra money you’ll be missing? Your attorney may call in experts in economics who can show how workers in your field are routinely provided cost of living salary increases. These experts could help convince a jury that you’re entitled to those increases – not from your employer per se, but from the insurance company of the party whose negligence caused the accident.
Expert witnesses who have a deep understanding of your specific field could also show how your education and training, as well as your experience, would have put you in a position for substantial raises if you had not been injured. They can show the typical path of job progression for people in your line of work.
How to Prove Loss of Earning Capacity
Suppose you’ve been hurt so severely that, even if you could work, there’s no way you’d be able to return to the specific job you’ve been doing. You could return to the company. But you’d have to take a job that pays less than the position you had. This is another area where your attorney could bring in an expert witness to testify on your behalf.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining how loss of earning capacity is calculated. These include the following:
- Your stamina level, and your ability to work despite being in pain.
- Any degenerative problems, such as weakness, caused by the injury that could affect your ability to perform your job.
- Any opportunities for a promotion you may have earned if the accident had not occurred.
Take the hypothetical case of someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident. Let’s say that person had a job that required a great deal of concentration as well as physical strength. The injury has caused so much damage that the person has lost a substantial portion of their cognitive abilities. They may also be suffering substantial emotional trauma that makes it impossible to be able to function in the workplace any longer.
An attorney can present expert medical testimony from not only a neuropsychologist, but also a psychiatrist to confirm the cognitive and emotional aspects of the injury. This could help the victim obtain the compensation needed to recoup their lost earning capacity.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney Today
As you can see, proving your personal injury losses will take a great deal of effort. You already have enough on your plate recovering from your injury – leave the matter of obtaining the compensation you deserve to an attorney with Sand Law. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling 651-291-7263.