Posted on: 12 April 2021
If you have been talking with a lawyer about filing a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one that you have lost, you have probably been discussing the different losses that you are legally able to claim. One of the hardest figures to pin down in a wrongful death claim is the total loss of potential income. Here's a look at some of the things that you need to understand to help you calculate the potential earnings loss from the death of your loved one.
Determine Salary Based On How Many Earning Years Remained
The first step to calculating the lost potential earnings is to identify how many years of earnings were left in your loved one's life before their death. The easiest way to evaluate the future earning potential is to work with an estimated retirement age of 62 or 63. Then, based on how old your loved one was at the time of their death, that tells you how many "working years" they would have had.
From there, you can determine their base earnings for that period by multiplying their remaining working years by the annual income they earned prior to their death. You can also talk with your wrongful death lawyer about calculating any potential increases based on annual increases, promotion and growth opportunities, and more.
Calculate The Lost Retirement Income
Once you determine the estimated future earnings from employment, you'll want to look at their Social Security earnings statements to determine what their estimated Social Security payments would have been. Then, based on your wrongful death lawyer's recommendation for future retirement payments, calculate the annual social security payments multiplied by the number of years your attorney recommends, because your attorney will know how many years the courts rely on in those calculations.
You'll also want to discuss any retirement accounts, such as 401K accounts. If your loved one had a retirement account that they were contributing to, you'll want to calculate how much that account could have been worth at their retirement, including employer matches and direct contributions. That is money you would have recognized if your loved one hadn't passed away.
These are two of the most important considerations when you're calculating the lost future earnings as part of your wrongful death case. Discuss these calculations with a local wrongful death lawyer and see if there are any other potential income considerations that directly apply to your situation.Share