Let’s face it: Most of the time, a car accident or a slip down a set of stairs will end up laying you up for a few weeks or a couple of months at most. Once you recover, it’s back to work as normal.

But what if that’s not the case? A serious car wreck or some other kind of accident can disrupt your career trajectory forever. Long after the physical wounds have healed, your economic injuries can continue. In those cases, it’s entirely appropriate to ask for compensation for the earnings that you would have earned in the future but for your injuries. Those are your “future lost wages.”

Every accident claim is a little different, but consider these examples:

  • You’re a young professional who is likely to be promoted — until the accident sidelines you for six months and makes you a “non-entity” in a highly competitive and rapidly changing field. It may be years before the opportunity for a promotion comes around again.
  • Your injuries heal but you aren’t quite the same. You move into a less active position that’s more accommodating of your disabilities — but it comes with a reduction in pay. You doubt you’ll ever earn what you did before the wreck.
  • You had just established your business when someone injured you through their negligent act. You were forced to close while you were healing. Now, you have to start over from scratch and you know it’ll be at least five years before you regain the momentum that you had before.

It’s important to note that insurance companies aren’t eager to pay out these kinds of claims. It often takes testimony from vocational and financial experts. Your age, education, occupation and more may also be factors in your case.

If you’ve been injured, don’t take chances with your future. Get an experienced legal advocate to protect your interests against the insurance company’s games.

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