One of the biggest financial consequences of a deadly car crash will be the loss of income it creates. If the person who died was the primary wage-earner for the family, simply handling basic expenses can become a hardship.
A wrongful death claim is an opportunity for surviving dependent family members to seek justice and hold a business or individual responsible for causing a fatal crash. The law specifically allows wrongful death claims to include lost income.
You will need to ask for a specific amount of compensation for the deceased person’s lost future wages. How do you calculate someone’s future income?
Take a long-term view and consider career growth
Simply multiplying someone’s current income by the number of years left until they reach retirement age will likely result in an inaccurately low estimate for lost wages. The chances are good that the individual would have received at least cost-of-living increases in their wages, if not raises due to good job performance or business success. They may have pursued and received promotions that came with higher wages.
Families also need to consider the financial value of employment benefits, which can add as much as 30% to the base salary that someone earns. Those who received performance-based bonuses for compensation, like sales professionals, could have very unpredictable income that requires careful consideration to estimate. You have to think about future career advances and secondary forms of income, like annual bonuses, when you calculate lost wages.
Putting an appropriate value on someone’s future earning potential is a crucial step when developing a wrongful death claim after a fatal car crash.