If you’re filing a personal injury claim, it’s likely you’re wondering what your case is worth and how you can ensure you recover that amount. One of the many consequences of any accident is lost wages from time away from work. That loss in income can affect the amount you receive, but so can your profession.
While it may seem like it would not matter, the work that you do for a living can affect your personal injury claim—particularly if your injuries hinder you in a way that makes your profession impossible to carry out. In order to understand how your profession can affect your personal injury claim, let’s take a look at how a claim can affect your work, how your injuries determine the value of your claim, and the impact of the Eggshell Skull Rule.
A Personal Injury Claim’s Effect on Work
After you’ve sustained injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll want to seek medical attention right away. Once you’ve been treated and have an idea of what your next few weeks or months look like, you’ll want to contact your employer. If you need to take time off work, it’s likely they’ll ask for a medical excuse. Depending on your contract and place of employment, you may have sick days you can use up, but it’s likely you’ll need to take time off without pay.
Losing wages can put a family significantly behind when it comes to paying the bills and keeping food on the table. For some, pursuing a personal injury claim is the only way to ensure the compensation to recover and move forward comfortably is available. When you file that claim, you can seek compensation for those lost wages, in addition to recovery for future lost wages. The amount you receive will depend upon what you do, how much you make, and any benefits you’re entitled to.
Determining the Value of Injured Body Parts
There’s no exact formula to determine the value of injured body parts, but your lawyer will take a number of factors into consideration—especially if your injuries impact your ability to work.
For example, a surgeon who suffered a nerve injury in their hands because of a negligent driver would likely be entitled to higher compensation than an accountant. While the accountant would probably be able to adapt to their job even with the nerve damage, a surgeon may be unable to operate on patients ever again.
There’s also the matter of emotional losses. If a surgeon is unable to engage in the profession they studied for years to master, they may suffer from depression, anxiety, and other disorders as a result of the significant life change. Loss of enjoyment of life has an inexact value, but your lawyer can determine the proper amount of compensation to seek.
Depending on the degree of injury, the person may experience changes in their life outside of work too—which can also be looked to for determining compensation.
Lost Wages and the Eggshell Skull Rule
Known as the Eggshell Skull Rule, this doctrine says that plaintiffs are entitled to recover full compensation for all damages resulting from the defendant’s negligence—even if their injuries are more serious because of a preexisting condition. This means that no two cases are the same. Even if you have two plaintiffs in similar accidents, the value of their cases will not be the same because it’s likely one suffered more damages.
In regard to how this fits in with the effect of your profession on your personal injury claim, the doctrine extends broadly to losses other than medical bills. For example, plaintiffs are entitled to decreased future earning potential, even if another plaintiff would not have lost as much income.
Your profession is not the only factor that can affect the value of your personal injury claim. In order to maximize your compensation, your lawyer will develop a comprehensive understanding of elements like the permanency of your injury, the presence of negligence, the state laws that apply to your claim, the total losses you suffered, and more.
Because of the number of factors that could impact your claim, working with a lawyer is imperative. Instead of worrying about filing paperwork and having difficult conversations with insurance adjusters, you can focus on recovering while our lawyers handle your claim for you. To learn more about your legal options and chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your accident-related losses, get in touch with Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC today.
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