Loss of Future Income in Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Actions
Loss of future income is a large part of many wrongful death settlements. This is especially true if your loved one was a younger person who still had years of work ahead of them. However, calculating the loss of future income is incredibly complex because these calculations require you to guess what could happen in the future.
This means you have to answer seemingly impossible questions. Would the decedent be promoted? How would inflation change their income level? Because of these questions, it can be helpful to discuss loss of future income in Virginia Beach wrongful death actions with an experienced attorney. By working with our dedicated wrongful death lawyers to understand the damages you are owed, you can make sure you are considering all of the possibilities when claiming loss of future income.
The Role of an Economist in a Wrongful Death Case
In Virginia Beach wrongful death case, an economist is generally contracted to calculate the loss of future income along with other damages included in a claim. Additionally, they can explain and illustrate their calculations to the jury. This can help the jury understand the weight of this loss so that they can reward a fair settlement amount to the family.
An economist is important because they can make sure the projection of loss of future income is accurate. They can also make sure the jury understands why this loss is so great so that the family can be appropriately compensated.
Calculating Loss of Future Income
Calculating loss of future income in a wrongful death case starts with establishing what the person was earning, as well as what benefits they received. An economist can run those figures into the future to determine what they may earn for the rest of their work life expectancy.
Sometimes this can be relatively easy, such as if the decedent had a steady salary with health insurance benefits. However, other times it is more complicated, such as if someone had a job in which the income fluctuated, such as a real estate agent who was paid by commission. An attorney at Cooper Hurley Lawyers can further explain how these calculations are completed.
Factors that Could Impact a Settlement Amount
There are several other important factors a court must consider when calculating loss of future income. These include factors such as inflation, raises that the person might have gotten, and the increased costs of benefits, such as health insurance over time.
Reduction to Present Value
Another important aspect of these calculations is a reduction to present value. This calculation is meant to reach a figure that could be put in the bank today and would earn interest that would result in a stream of income over time to replace the income lost. At the end of that time, there would theoretically be nothing left in that account.
How Consumption is Considered in Virginia Beach Calculations
Loss of future income must also consider how much the earner would have spent of their income on themselves. This is referred to as consumption. The court requires this to be a part of the calculation because the idea of loss of future income is to compensate the family for the effects it would have on them. With that in mind, the court considers money the earner would have spent on themselves as money that would not have reached their family anyways.
The basic equation is to take the annual income and multiply it by the decedent’s expected work life, which would usually be to age 67. This amount is then reduced by the amount of consumption that would have been attributable to the person who passed away. Since it is more complicated than you might think, it is important to work with an experienced economist who can help with these calculations.
Discuss Loss of Future Income in Virginia Beach Wrongful Death Actions With an Attorney
When you suddenly lose someone you depended on, you can feel much more than the emotional effects. Losing an income that your family depended on can immediately threaten your financial stability for years to come. Because of this, loss of future income is a critical part of Virginia Beach wrongful death actions. It is important this calculation is accurate so that your family can have the money you need.
Due to the complexity of these calculations, it is important to work with an experienced professional. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers to discuss your options today.