After getting injured on the job and being unable to work, it's easy to focus on the current salary and paycheck that you are losing on a weekly basis. As you seek professional help for a worker's compensation case, it's also important to look at the big picture and future of your case. The future damages is an important aspect that can impact your final settlement amount and any future payments. By working with an attorney, you can sort out the following five factors and help calculate an ideal settlement for your case.
If you've been working at a job for a while, you've likely been moving your way up the ladder. With each promotion, you enjoyed a pay raise and extra benefits. Even if you're no longer able to work, the possibility of promotions could have an impact on the costs of future damages. One thing that your attorney will look at is past promotions. This includes the length of time it took to move to the new position, the salary increase, and any possible changes in work hours.
Along with your own positioning, the rise of similar employees could be used as evidence. For example, if someone in your old position recently got a promotion, they could use that as evidence of your potential move up the company ladder. Company openings and retirements may also be looked into for your potential rise in the company and future damages that have occurred.
Annual Pay Raises
Along with any possible promotions, pay raises are a big factor in your future damages. If you received an annual raise at the position, then your attorney will factor in these future raises for your possible settlement. This may be a set money amount or a raise based on the percentage of your paycheck. Used old pay subs and tax information to showcase your growths in income and help the attorney calculate raises for the future.
If you were only making minimum wage, this could still factor into your future damages. An attorney can calculate any raises in your state's minimum wage and do the math to figure out what your future income would have been.
Job Training & Future Options
If you were looking to expand on your current job skills, that could have been impacted and result in a large loss of future wages. By determining any classes or workshops that you were in, an attorney could have estimated the time it would take to graduate and put those job skills to use.
For example, if you were a teacher taking classes to become an administrator, your whole career path may have been derailed. An attorney would estimate the costs of classes, potential career start dates, and the salaries that you would have earned with these improvements.
If your work injury impacted other sources of income in your life, then your attorney may seek future damages for the losses. For example, if you sold Christmas crafts each year, your attorney can help account for the annual income that it added and how that income will be lost in the future. Another example involves fishing and hunting. If you sold fish or meat from hunting, your lost income could become a part of the damages that you seek in a settlement. It's important to include as many of these details as possible and any tracking that you may have related to the paid hobby. This will help represent your case and get the best outcome.
Vacation Pay & Bonuses
Along with weekly salaries, your attorney will want to know about any vacation pay or bonuses that were received on the job. These small amounts could add up over time and result in a large loss of wages for your income. For these payments, it's important to stick with annual traditions. For example, you may have received a Christmas bonus every year. This calculation will be likely added to your annual salary break-down and become a potential part of the settlement.
Adding in all of these details can make a huge difference for your case. It's important to not make assumptions and have proof for every claim you make when regarding your income and future damages. An attorney can guide you through each step of the process. To find an attorney, go to sites like the one linked to in this article.