Maryland law permits injured victims to recover wages that were lost because of a car accident caused by another’s carelessness. Injured victims may recover for lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and for future reduced earnings. See Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. II Sec. 11-109(b). The 1955 case Adams v. Benson held:
The determination of the extent of impairment of earning power as a result of injury, although involving contingencies and matters of opinion, is an ordinary function of the triers of fact. In many cases evidence of salary, wages, or other income derived from personal services, earned by a plaintiff before and after sustaining an injury, is available for the purpose of comparison in proof of diminished earning power; but such a comparison is not essential to proof of diminished earning power, but all relevant facts must be considered. Adams, 208 Md. 261, 264 (1955).
If you claim lost wages, the defendant’s attorney may request tax returns and other financial documents to verify that you have actually lost income. In general, lost future earnings should not be the subject of speculation by the jury. Testimony from doctors can help support a claim of diminished earning capacity. A doctor who knows what an injured victim did for a living can express an opinion to the jury about the extent to which a disability will cause economic harm. See, e.g., Straughan v. Tsouvalos, 246 Md. 242 (1967).
In addition, where the injured victim has suffered a permanent diminution in earning capability, the testimony of an economist or actuary may be used to testify about the victim’s work life expectancy. In order to educate the jury about an individual’s lessened future wages, an economist will use a diverse array of sources, such as economic factors unique to a particular profession, the plaintiff’s education and work experience, U.S. Department of Labor statistics, inflationary data, and other economic variables.
If you lost wages or future earnings as a result of a personal injury in Maryland, talk to one of our seasoned attorneys. The law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has extensive experience litigating lost wage claims on behalf of injured victims throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Call us today for a free, prompt and confidential consultation with an attorney.