Lost Income and Accident Cases
After being involved in a car accident case it is very likely that the injured person will miss work. The amount of work missed can range from a few hours to permanently being unable to resume their prior occupation following the accident.
Maggolc, Inc. v. Roberson
Maggolc, Inc. was a highway paving contractor. Robert Roberson was operating his scooter in an area where the road was being resurfaced by Maggolc. It was about 9:00 at night and as Mr. Roberson rode along the road, he struck a manhole pipe which was protruding out of the surface of the roadway. He was thrown from his scooter and was injured when he struck the road. Mr. Roberson’s medical expert testified that he had a 7% disability rating. The same medical expert opined that 5% was related to neck injuries and 2% was related to a knee injury.
At trial, the jury determined that Maggolc was negligent and that Mr. Roberson should recover a total of $532,294.54, consisting of: (a) past medical expenses of $17,294.54, (b) future medical expenses of $20,000.00, (c) pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages, of $250,000.00, (d) past lost earnings of $85,000.00, and (e) future lost earning capacity of $160,000.00. Maggolc did not challenge the liability or the award of damages, as it pertained to any category except the two earnings categories.
Maggolc appealed the jury’s award of lost earnings as speculative. Both parties agreed that Roberson’s presentation of evidence, as it related to lost earnings was limited to his testimony that he made approximately $80,000 per year as a personal trainer, working 6-7 days per week and that he expected to work as a personal trainer for about 8 more years. There was also some limited testimony regarding the time others witnessed Mr. Roberson working. Maggolc insisted that since Roberson did not file taxes and his income was primarily in cash that his lost income calculations were speculative and unsupported.
The Third District Court of Appeals considered the claims and held that there was no requirement that proof of lost earnings be substantiated by tax returns, bank accounts, receipt books, social security earnings history, client lists, appointment books, expense records or any other documentary evidence. The court noted that the issues were properly raised before the jury and that it was free to consider them as it weighed the credibility of the witnesses.
How to Prove Your Lost Wages
While you are not required to provide proof of your lost earnings to make a colorable claim in Florida, I would suggest that the Maggolc case is something of an oddity. In most cases, juries tend to believe documentary evidence over testimonial evidence. Therefore, in order to prove lost wages in a car accident case, it is best to rely upon tax returns, banking records, pay check stubs etc over taking the stand and admitting tax evasion.
The amount of time that you are out of work will be dependent upon the nature and extent of your injuries. The injuries suffered by Roberson resulted in a 7% disability rating, but due to the physical nature of his occupation, he was unable to ever return to work as physical trainer. Had he been a lawyer, he probably would have missed much less time and would have been able to return to work.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our law firm we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you. We understand traumatic brain injuries and the issues that they can cause in your daily life and our law firm will always work to make sure you are compensated fairly.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced car accident attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
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St. Pete, FL 33707