Earnings and Benefits Economic Damages

Earnings and benefits-related economic damages are the lost earnings and employer-provided fringe benefits the injured individual or decedent's family will no longer receive due to the personal injury or wrongful death. These are comprised of the lost earnings and benefits from the time of the incident through the present and can also include losses reasonably anticipated into the future. In many states, this may include lost earnings capacity.

Personal Injury

In personal injury cases, losses are calculated as the difference between the earnings and benefits the individual was projected to have received had the injury not occurred, and the earnings and benefits they are projected to receive now that the injury has occurred.

Read more about the 8 steps to calculating economic damages in personal injury cases.

Wrongful Death

In wrongful death cases, the family of the decedent has brought the lawsuit. Similar to injury cases, earnings are calcualted had the decedent not died. In many states, these earnings are adjusted for the amount the decedent would have personally consumed - the remainder of which would have been contributed to the family. Further, in most states the only benefits that would have been available to the family are calculated.

Read more about the 8 steps to calculating economic damages in wrongful death cases.

Earnings types

  • Hourly rate
  • Salary
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Shift differentials
  • Tips
  • Piece rate pay
  • Profit-sharing plans
  • Stock options

Employer-provided fringe benefits

  • Paid insurance premiums (health, dental, vision, life)
  • Contributions towards a health savings account
  • Contributions to a 401k
  • Company pension plan
  • Social Security contributions
  • Medicare contributions
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Worker's compensation insurance
  • Meal and cafeteria plans
  • Day care incentives
  • Gym memberships
  • Subsidized car or phone payments
  • Stock purchase plans