In addition to the NON-ECONOMIC damages (pain and suffering), an injured party is entitled to be reimbursed for the ECONOMIC losses they have suffered. Economic losses are those losses that are tangible and capable of specific calculation or projection. They generally fall into the following categories: past and future wage loss, past and future medical bills, and medical expenses. In this blog entry, I will discuss past and future wage loss.

Past Wage Loss: This damage is the amount of money that an injured party has lost because he or she has been unable to work as a result of their injury. Usually, past wage loss is easy to calculate, especially if the injured party is paid a salary or paid by the hour. Past wage loss is more difficult to calculate if the injured party is paid by commission. However, even in that circumstance a calculation can be made by looking at the past earnings historically, often over a course of months or years, and using the historical data to estimate the actual loss.

Future Wage Loss: This damage is the amount of wage loss that is projected to be lost in the future as a result of ongoing disability. Generally, attorneys will use vocational experts as well as economists to review each case individually and project how a given party’s injury will affect their ability to work indefinitely (total disability) or for some period of time or in some diminished capacity (partial disability). The experts will take into consideration not only the persons past history but also the person age, work life expectancy, and ability to do work other than the work they were doing before their injury.