Court Discusses Plaintiff’s Future-Earnings Claim in Recent Car Accident Case

There are several categories of damages that are available to a Washington, D.C. car accident victim who has successfully proven her case. Among the various categories of available damages is compensation for the loss of the plaintiff’s future-earning capacity.

As is the case with all damages in a Washington, D.C. personal injury case, a plaintiff must plead and prove the specific type of damages being sought. A recent case discusses a professional athlete’s claim that the accident caused by the defendant drastically reduced his future-earning capacity.

The Facts of the Case

In 2014, the plaintiff was a college athlete when he was involved in a car accident that was caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, initially seeking compensation for his pain and suffering as well as his medical expenses.

Later, the plaintiff amended his complaint to include a claim the reduction in his future-earning capacity. In support of this claim, the plaintiff called his manager as a witness, who testified that the plaintiff would have been able to earn upwards of $1 million over the course of his career, but was no longer able to compete due to his injuries.

The defendant attempted to call his own expert witness, but was precluded from doing so because notice was provided after a court-imposed deadline. The defendant attempted to justify the late disclosure based on the plaintiff’s amended complaint. However, the court rejected the defendant’s argument and the case proceeded to trial, where the plaintiff was awarded a total of $2 million.

The case illustrates several important concepts. First, that a party’s failure to comply with any court-imposed deadline can carry drastic consequences. In this case, the defendant failed to disclose the name of his expert witness until after the court’s discovery deadline. This resulted in the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony being uncontradicted at trial.

The second important issue highlighted by the case is the availability of damages based on a party’s decreased future-earning capacity. Generally speaking, damages in a Maryland or Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuit are designed to put the plaintiff in the position they were in prior to the accident. Thus, if a plaintiff is able to present evidence that the defendant’s conduct resulted in a decrease in their earning-capacity, the jury will be able to consider whether to award this type of damages award.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland or Washington, D.C. Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation, including amounts for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as a decrease in your potential earning capacity. To learn more about what steps you can take to preserve your rights, and to speak with a dedicated Washington, D.C. injury lawyer about your case today, call 410-654-3600. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Court Discusses Duty Owed to Co-Participants in Sporting Events, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2018

Court Considers Peremptory Strike of African-American Juror, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, September 4, 2018

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