Considering the Full Compensation Package From Work

When contemplating the impact of traumatic brain injuries and diminished earning capacity, it’s important to factor in all forms of pay an employee may receive from their job. After a slip and fall brain injury, you may lose out on not only your base salary or hourly wage. The effects of this accident can extend to performance bonuses, future raises, health benefits, paid time off (PTO), and other forms of compensation. Reduced earning capacity also compromises the size of your pension, as it’s not uncommon for brain injury survivors to retire earlier for health reasons than they would have without the TBI. 

Using the car salesperson example above, it’s impossible to predict with certainty where your career would have gone had you not suffered a TBI, as there’s always some level of speculation involved. However, based on our experience with numerous cases like these, the traumatic injury brain team at The Mottley Law Firm will examine, collect, and present evidence to support this speculation. We’ll describe how your TBI may affect your earning capacity for the remainder of your career. These projections are vital for fairly evaluating the possible worth of a personal injury claim. 

How to Calculate Lifetime Reduced Earnings

While it’s impossible to definitively predict the exact value of reduced earnings over a lifetime, it is possible to calculate a reasonable estimate for lost income. This differs from calculating current lost wages, which can be based on pay stubs and other evidence from before the injury. If a person earns $1,000 in a typical week and is out of work for 10 weeks, they’ve lost $10,000 in current wages.  

To estimate a reasonable dollar figure representing total diminished earning capacity, The Mottley Law Firm may enlist the insight of vocational experts. Potential factors in this calculation may include:

  • How the impairment affects a person’s ability to do the job they had before injury.
  • How the TBI symptoms impact the person’s possible career trajectory.
  • The possible loss of future opportunities and promotions.
  • The likelihood they will be hired by another company for a similar job.
  • Whether the person can reasonably pivot to a different career path. 
  • Whether they would be able to take on additional training and skills development.
  • The estimated number of years left in their working life.
  • Wages and other earnings from before the traumatic brain injury accident.
  • Fair market value for the person’s skills and experience before their injury.
  • Any reduction in hours or productivity resulting from the TBI.
  • Whether the workplace can make reasonable accommodations.  

The objective is to project how much the plaintiff loses over their lifetime as a result of suffering their brain injury. A younger person who had a bright future ahead of them may be eligible for a larger settlement than an older adult on the cusp of retirement. 

Consult Our Virginia Brain Injury Attorneys

When there are complex legal terms and a need for strategy negotiations with insurance companies, it’s prudent to retain the services of a skilled traumatic brain injury legal team to safeguard your interests after such a devastating accident. At the Mottley Law Firm, we leave no stone unturned as we advocate for your right to maximum compensation. 

It’s crucial to consider the long-term ramifications of your injuries before accepting any settlement offer. In one case, we represented a client who suffered a concussion and PTSD when she was rear-ended at a stop light. Doctors confirmed that she was unable to continue working as an orthopedic trauma nurse. The car crash permanently damaged her employability. After private mediation, the case settled for $2 million one month before trial.
Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims
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