There are 3 primary areas of legal recovery in NC personal injury cases: medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering. We previously addressed the first category- medical bills.

As to wage loss the one word that sums it all up is “provable”.

Just like any claimed damages from another’s negligence must be directly caused by the Defendant’s acts or omissions, the same truism applies to lost wages.

This is relatively easy when a person earned an hourly or fixed wage and has direct proof as to the number of hours, days or months out of work, but is a different story beyond.

But in situation where a person is salaried or earns commissions or has past earnings which are not so easily calculated or “fixed” then other methods of proof are needed.

Most insurance companies will in such instances require a minimum of 3-5 years of prior tax records in addition to documentation of wage loss support from whatever employer is involved. This is another reason why it is good practice to hang on to all your work records, including calendars with appointments made, commissions earned etc. and other support of work completed or money earned for at least for the last few years.

Another wage loss category relates to the future. We call this diminution in earning capacity-which is the title of the NC jury charge on the issue the judge would read to the jury.

In essence, if it can be demonstrated, typically with the need of supporting medical opinion(s), that the injuries received will affect the future earning capacity of such injured individual then the jury can award such future loss.

This also can be shown through prior tax or earnings records which when laid side by side and then extrapolated forward demonstrate that since the accident and injury the earnings course of the affected individual had been detrimentally altered. Example, the injured earned $120,000.00 consistently over the preceding 3 years prior to the accident and has since dropped to $80,000.00.

This shortfall would then be carried forward to the individuals’ remaining work years (work-life expectancy) to arrive at the future expected loss of earnings. This of course is the simplified version as other factors enter in but generally you see the point.

So, the best we can hope for short of not getting injured is that if such a claim is made you have and can retrieve all the supporting documentation to help us put this claim to the insurance adjuster and recover for the full loss incurred herein.