If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be facing mounting medical bills, lost income if you aren’t able to work while you recover and a host of other financial hardships brought on by the unexpected injuries. After a serious injury from a car crash, slip and fall incident or construction accident due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.

In a personal injury claim, if you anticipate that your recovery, rehabilitation or care will extend into the future you may be able to seek financial compensation for your anticipated expenses and losses. Most often, future damages are awarded in the event of serious injury in which the victim will need ongoing medical care and cannot go back to the same job or work at all. In this blog post, we’ll review how future damages are calculated in a personal injury claim. 

Medical Expenses

The more severe your injuries, the more your medical expenses will likely be and the longer you may need medical care – if not, permanently. For instance, you may require a long hospital stay with multiple major surgeries or procedures, rehabilitation and/or in-home care. All of these medical necessities can significantly increase your future medical costs and the total value of your claim.

Common medical expenses that may be part of a future damages claim include:

  • Future rehabilitation costs
  • Future nursing care or in-home care costs
  • Future medical treatments
  • Modifications to your home or car needed for a long-term injury or disability
  • Money to pay for household services that you are no longer capable of performing

An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer will work to determine how much to demand for your future medical expenses. When filing a claim, it’s often important to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before the full value of your claim can be determined. You want to know what to expect down the road to ensure you will have adequate funds to cover your future costs.

Lost Income

In the unfortunate event that you are unable to return to work and have permanent injuries, your personal injury claim may also seek compensation for your lost income and lost future earning capacity. This type of compensation includes a projection into the future of what your income and benefits would have been had you not been injured.

If you can work but not in the same role or capacity, you may be able to seek compensation for the difference in what you make and what you could have made before the injury. When calculating future earning capacity, factors include

  • Wages
  • Commission
  • Annual bonuses
  • Employee benefits

Your New Jersey personal injury lawyer may recommend bringing an economic or labor expert onto your claim to calculate future earning capacity.

Age and Life Expectancy

When calculating both future medical expenses and earning capacity, your age will play a part in the value of your claim. For instance, an older person close to retirement may not have as much earning capacity lost because they would have retired in a few years anyway. However, a young person at the prime of their career may lose even decades of wages and benefits.

On the medical front, a young person may be able to recover more quickly and more completely from injuries than an older person. As a result, an older person may need relatively more future medical care than a younger person and thus would affect the value of the claim. 

How to Calculate Future Damages

Based on these factors, calculating your future damages can be complex. You may be able to calculate lost income based on pay stubs but not have a good picture of what long term earning capacity could be. Medical expenses can also be challenging to estimate. In the case of a serious injury, it's in your best interest to hire a New Jersey personal injury attorney to maximize the value of your claim.

Brandon J. Broderick, New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, working with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a personal injury lawyer from our NJ law firm, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with personal injury settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Wed, 04/27/2022 - 15:27

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