How Do You Prove Losses in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Have you or anyone you know been involved in an accident caused by another person’s negligence? If your answer is yes, it doesn’t matter whether the accident was a dog bite, a car wreck, or a slip and fall, you will incur losses, either financially, mentally, or physically. However, since the cause of the accident was due to negligence, it is your right to obtain compensation for the losses you incur. With the help of a personal injury law firm in Sarasota, you can prove your losses, as your attorney understands how best to do so.
But, before you can dive into how to prove losses in a personal injury lawsuit, the first step should be defining losses.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Define Losses?
The monetary losses you experience from an injury are also referred to as damages. And in a personal injury lawsuit, the damages you incur are divided into general and special damages.
Special Damages are tangible losses you experience as a result of the accident. These losses include medical expenses, the cost of medical treatment you incur, loss of your income, and lost wages, among others. Proving special damages isn’t difficult for your personal injury attorney, as it is usually on paper.
For instance, you can prove medical expenses with the bills you accumulated while treating your injuries. However, insurance companies might want to challenge your medical bills in most instances.
General damages, unlike special damages, are pretty difficult to prove, mainly because they aren’t as tangible. These damages may include emotional trauma, disfigurement, and the pain and suffering you may have suffered during the accident. Putting value to your pain can be pretty tricky, which is where your lawyer steps in to help.
Once you have all your general and special damages listed, the next step is determining how to prove your losses.
Proving Losses in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Proving losses in a personal injury lawsuit can, at times, be a challenging task to do, especially if you have no experience with this matter. This is why working with a personal injury lawyer is crucial, especially during a personal injury lawsuit. So, how does your lawyer prove the following?
Past Wage Loss
One of the expected consequences of being in an accident is that you may have to miss work for some time, depending on your injuries, which could be days or months. Proving past wages’ loss isn’t challenging, as long as you can show the amount of money you made before the accident occurred.
Here are four ways you can prove lost wages:
- You can use your W-2(s) from the previous year(s)
- A wage verification from your current employer. You can ask your employer for a note listing your weekly working hours, normal wages, and the dates you missed work.
- Your paystubs. Ensure that you show your wage difference before and after the accident on the documents.
- For self-employed individuals or business owners, you can present documentation like tax returns, business banking records, accounts receivable, or checks previously received for the services you rendered. However, make sure you black out sensitive information for your privacy.
Future Wage Loss
Once your lawyer can prove your past wage loss, the next step is proving your future wage loss. But, unlike past wage loss, proving future wage loss can be a challenge. It may take some time to recover from your injuries fully. And that, too, also has to be accounted for when proving losses.
One reason this may be a challenge is that it’s hard to predict the future. For instance, no one knows whether you would have received a pay raise a few months down the line before your accident. So, to help prove your future wage loss, your lawyer will call an economics expert to help show how your salary increases routinely in your field.
Experts have a deep understanding of specific fields and can show how your training, experience, and education put you in a position for a raise if the accident didn’t happen.
Loss of Your Earning Capacity
When proving losses, your lawyer must also prove that you lost your earning capacity. Even if your injuries have healed, there’s a high possibility that you won’t function at 100%. So, you might have to take up a job paying less than your previous position. Your lawyer will have to rely on an expert witness to prove the loss of your earning capacity.
Some of the factors that will help determine the loss of your earning capacity include:
- Lost promotion opportunities
- Degenerative problems like nerve weakness caused by accidents are affecting your ability to perform your office responsibilities.
- Your ability to work and stamina level
Examples of experts your lawyer might use to prove loss of your earning capacity may include a neuropsychologist or a psychiatrist. A neuropsychologist can confirm your cognitive functionality after the accident, while the psychiatrist can explain how the pain and suffering from your injuries have affected your emotional state.
If your vehicle or property sustained any damages, you must include it as part of your loss. Your lawyer may want to show your property damage as per the repair costs. But, if the said property is irreplaceable, you may have to use fair market value to get compensation.
Mental Health Treatment
Sometimes accidents scar more than the body; they can also do a number on your mental health state. If you are experiencing PTSD, anxiety, or even depression, you can include the mental health treatment costs to prove losses.
As mentioned above, proving losses isn’t easy, and it takes lots of effort. This is why it’s important to hire a lawyer. At Hale Law, you can have a personal injury lawyer who can handle your personal injury lawsuit and help you prove the losses you experienced. For more information, you can visit this link: https://halelaw.com.
2803 Fruitville Road Suite 240 Sarasota FL 34237,
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