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Proving Lost Income in Florida Personal Injury Cases

money2Under Florida law, an injured person may seek a variety of damages from an at-fault party. The specific damages that a plaintiff can obtain will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries. Typically, damages can include medical expenses, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, and more. While there is no specific method, an experienced attorney can help you effectively demonstrate damages and get you the maximum allowable recovery under the law.

In Maggolc Inc. v. Robertson, the Third District Court of Appeals addressed what type of evidence is needed to prove lost wages. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was injured in a motor scooter accident in Miami Beach when his automobile hit uneven pavement. He later sued Maggolc, the company responsible for maintaining the pavement where the accident took place. At trial, the jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him over half a million dollars in damages, including those related to lost earnings.

On appeal, Maggolc claimed that the past lost earnings and future lost earning capacity damages award was improper due to the “skimpy” testimony regarding the matters. Specifically, Maggolc claimed that the plaintiff’s claims were “unsupported by financial records of any kind” and could be mere speculation. Indeed, there were no tax documents or bank records to support the plaintiff’s claims that he was earning $80,000 prior to his accident.

The appeals court held that, even through there wasn’t documentation to support the plaintiff’s testimony, the information was sufficient to support the jury’s ruling. This is because Florida law does not require a claim for lost wages to be supported by documentation; nor does Florida law bar recovery if tax returns are not produced. Thus, the court upheld the jury award finding it was the jury’s responsibility to assess the merits of the plaintiff’s claim and parse through any issues of credibility.

It is important to note that in most cases, the injured victim should aim to provide clear and convincing evidence of damages through documentation. Evidentiary documents can help make a victim’s case much stronger. Lost income is relatively easy to prove and can be shown by examining an individual’s work attendance, pay stubs, and tax records. Lost earning capacity can be more difficult to establish than lost income because it involved making calculations and predictions about an individual’s work ability in the future. Since there is no easy way to do this, ascertaining lost earning capacity is heavily fact-intensive, and the process varies in case by case.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident in Miami or anywhere in Florida, we can help. Robert Dixon is a highly qualified personal injury attorney who has helped thousands of clients pursue their claims. We understand that going through an accident is stressful enough without having to worry about the financial costs associated with it. This is precisely why we are committed to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries, including lost wages. To learn more, contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Laws Pertaining to Settlements for Minors,  South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, September 9, 2014

The Different Statute of Limitations in Florida Boating Accident Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, August 26, 2014

Understanding the Seat Belt Defense in Florida Auto Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, August 13, 2014