If you have been hurt in an accident, you are likely starting to wonder about all of the different aspects that may affect the value of your claim. While there are several factors that may affect how much compensation you are awarded, one you may not have considered is your profession. What does your job have to do with the value of your injury case? Our Miami personal injury attorneys explain.
Can My Profession Affect the Value of My Personal Injury Case?
Yes, your profession can affect the value of your injury case in several ways. Perhaps the most direct way that a profession can impact the value of a personal injury case is by affecting the amount of compensation that you receive for your case.
Your compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity is directly related to the job that you have and the way that your injuries impact your earning potential in the future. Your profession can affect the value of your case by impacting how much compensation you can recover.
Does Your Job Impact the Value of Your Personal Injury Case?
Yes, your job impacts the value of your injury case. In some ways, the value of your case directly depends on what your job is and how your earnings change because of your injuries. In other ways, your job impacts how you pursue your injury case and the steps you need to take to get the compensation that you deserve. Here are some ways that your job might impact the value of your case:
1. Your Profession May Affect Your Claim for Lost Wages
Lost wages are a type of compensation that you can claim in a personal injury case. It’s compensation for the time after your injury that you’re unable to return to work. Lost wages are immediate in the aftermath of a personal injury accident. Your damages for lost wages are the exact amount of money that you miss out on earning because of your injuries.
For example, if you make $1,000 per week, and you miss three months of work because of the accident, your lost wages are $1,000 X 12 or $12,000. The amount of lost wages that you receive depends directly on your job, your employment, and your pay at the time of the accident.
2. Your Profession May Impact Your Claim for Lost Earning Capacity
Like lost wages, lost earning capacity is another type of compensation that you can claim in an injury case. Lost earning capacity is at the heart of how your profession impacts your injury case. It accounts for a decrease in your potential to earn an income in the future because of your accident.
For example, say you’re a software engineer. In the past five years, you got two promotions. You depend on your hands to type and create computer programs. Because of your injury accident, you sustain permanent damage to your hands, including partial paralysis. You’re no longer able to work as a software engineer. Now, you only qualify for jobs that pay half as much, with no chances for advancement. You are eligible for loss of earning capacity damages based on your changed career path.
The greater the decrease in the amount you’re able to earn throughout your life because of your injury, the higher the value of your injury claim. In your injury claim, your economic damages include the amount of lost earning capacity that you have because of the accident. Proving lost earning capacity involves working with occupational and financial experts to evaluate and calculate the amount of your lost earning capacity for your personal injury case.
3. The Standard of Care for Comparative Negligence May Be Different
An injury claim looks at the behavior of all of the parties involved. To know the value of your case, you look at whether your behavior is negligent in any way. Comparative negligence can impact the value of your case.
If you’re a professional driver, your profession can play into the standard of care that applies in the case. Your behavior may be examined against how a reasonable person in your profession may behave in the same circumstances. Your professional may impact the value of your personal injury case in that it might impact an evaluation of comparative negligence in the case.
4. Standards That Apply for Traffic Tickets and Criminal Traffic Offenses May Be Different
Traffic tickets and criminal traffic offenses may hinge on the profession of the driver. A commercial driver may have different standards for certain traffic offenses than a driver who holds a non-commercial license. For example, in many states, there is a lower legal limit for drunk driving for commercial drivers than there is for non-commercial drivers. Traffic tickets and criminal traffic offenses can be used as arguments for negligence in a personal injury case.
5. A Personal Injury Claim May Impact Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’re hurt on the job, your injury claim may run concurrently with your workers’ compensation claim. If you have both types of claims, the workers’ compensation insurer may seek subrogation or indemnity from the proceeds of the personal injury case. The law doesn’t allow for double recovery for a victim. It’s important to work with your personal injury attorney so that you understand how the two types of cases work and how to best pursue your interests.
6. Stable Employment History Can Add to the Value of Your Injury Case
Stable employment history can make it easier to prove lost wages in your case. When you can show that you’ve had a solid employment history, you can more easily demonstrate that you have lost earning capacity because of the accident. Of course, in today’s job market, stable employment isn’t what it was generations ago. Your attorney can help you understand how your job history plays a role in proving your case and how to explain your story to the jury.
7. Coworkers and Supervisors May Provide Valuable Testimony in Your Favor
Coworkers and employment supervisors are often great witnesses in a personal injury case. They can testify to how you are both before and after the accident. Witnesses that you work with are often seen as more truthful than family members, but they still know you well. They can be very helpful in proving the details of your case.
Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Injury Claim
Our injury accident attorneys can help you if you’ve been hurt in an accident. We can help you better understand how your profession may impact the amount of compensation you are awarded. Our legal team can also help you take calculated steps to prove lost wages and lost earning capacity.
We know that your recovery depends on getting the maximum compensation possible, given the circumstances of your case. Call us today for your confidential consultation.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.