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Florida Appeals Court Address Lost Wages Issue in Car Accident Case

carMedical expenses, lost wages, and property damage are just some of the damages that a personal injury plaintiff would typically be entitled to receive after an accident. Every accident is different, and the amount of damages a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will vary based on the specifics of the case. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our skilled Miami car accident attorneys can help you determine the appropriate amount of damages in your case. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these types of claims in an effective and efficient manner.

In a recent case, the plaintiff got into a car accident with the defendant. The defendant admitted that he caused the crash but disputed that the accident caused the plaintiff’s permanent injuries.

At trial, the plaintiff’s pain management physician testified that the plaintiff would require palliative care that would cost between $525,000 and $850,000. The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that while the plaintiff’s condition was stable, cervical surgery would help increase the plaintiff’s functional capacity and quality of life. The cost of cervical surgery can be between $90,000 and $120,000. He also stated that if the surgery was not entirely successful, a follow-up lumbar surgery might be needed that would cost between $60,000 and $90,000. The plaintiff also sought lost wages, testifying that she was afraid of losing her job due to her injury.

The jury awarded the plaintiff compensatory damages, including future medical costs and future loss of earning capacity. The defendant appealed, claiming that the jury’s decision was based on speculation.

On appeal, the defendant argued that the award of future medical care, which included expected expenses for cervical and lumbar surgery, was too speculative in nature. The court disagreed, explaining that the amount sought for future medical care was within the range supported by expert medical witnesses in the case. However, the court agreed with the defendant on the issue of lost wages. To establish a claim for loss of future earning capacity, a plaintiff must introduce “reasonably certain evidence that the capacity to labor has been diminished.” The court explained that the plaintiff’s lost wages claim was based solely on the plaintiff’s subjective fear of losing her job, as opposed to any reduced capacity to perform the job. This was too speculative to form the basis of a future lost wages claim.

Establishing damages in a car accident case can be a complicated and cumbersome process. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami car accident attorney without delay. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we will value your damages as quickly as possible so that you can get the compensation you deserve for your harm. For more information about your options, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.

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