Income Loss from a Motorcycle Accident

A person who is injured in a motorcycle accident may lose a small amount of income; on the other hand, his or her ability to earn a living may be seriously impaired for life

When most people think of the damages resulting from a motorcycle accident, they think of medical bills and pain and suffering from physical injuries. Certainly, these are considerations in determining the value of a personal injury case stemming from a motorcycle accident; in fact, compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering often make up the largest portion of the settlement amount. However, there are other costs that should be considered when determining the amount a motorcycle accident case is worth, and one of these costs is loss of income. A person who is injured in a motorcycle accident may lose a small amount of income; on the other hand, his or her ability to earn a living may be seriously impaired for life.

How Is Lost Income Calculated?

There are several factors that go into calculating lost income from a motorcycle accident. When a personal injury attorney evaluates a case for its potential settlement value, he or she often makes a judgment about the amount of lost income that should be requested from the responsible party. This will often be determined by the following factors:

• Number of hours missed. In some cases, a certain number of hours have been missed and the value of this lost time can easily be calculated by multiplying an hourly wage by the number of hours lost due to doctor’s appointments and recovery time.
• Salary. In other cases, a person draws a salary and must estimate how much money has been lost as a result of missed work. This is usually accomplished fairly easily by translating the salary into an hourly wage, although for workers who have odd or erratic work hours this may not be as simple as it sounds.
• Commission. If a victim is a sales person who works on commission, it is far more difficult to calculate lost income due to the fact that not only lost hours but lost opportunity cost must be factored in. Attorneys for victims often extrapolate an amount based on one or two years’ worth of sales data averaged to come up with a working “wage” amount.
• Benefits. It is important to remember that income does not consist solely of wages. Benefits that may be jeopardized by missing work must also be considered. This is especially true if the victim was contributing to a 401K plan or some other savings scheme; in those cases, the victim may lose more than simply the amount to be put into the account. The lost amounts may also include future interest that would have accrued had the victim been making regular contributions to the fund.
• Disability. If the victim is permanently disabled or unable to perform the same job as e or she used to do, the overall loss of income potential must be calculated. This can be a difficult calculation to make as it requires complicated formulas to be applied to figure age, potential future income and losses resulting from changes in job ability.

A personal injury attorney may be able to help the victim of a motorcycle accident calculate his or her total losses. This includes not only payment of medical bills and other expenses but the calculation of the loss of income due to injuries.

John N. Demas, a Sacramento personal injury attorney, is the founding partner of the Demas Law Group, P.C. and has been exclusively representing injured victims for over twenty years. John is passionate about helping people and has earned a stellar reputation in the community for his dedication and successful results for his clients. He has extensive trial experience with several multi-million dollar verdicts, including one of the largest verdicts ever against Sacramento County ($4,500,000) and the largest verdict in Tuolumne County ($2,500,000).

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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