One in five workers in today’s economy is either self-employed or has started their own business. When these workers are injured or killed, defending claims of future economic loss or earnings can prove problematic absent compelling information to controvert Plaintiff’s claims. Although case law addressing the issues is surprisingly meager, the courts have provided a road map for recovery in such cases.
The general rule is that business owners may not recover lost profits per say, but they may introduce evidence of lost profits of their business as proof of their lost or impaired capacity to earn. The business owner must show that his or her own labor was a primary reason for the earning of the profits, as opposed to the efforts of employees or the use of capital. Evidence of lost profits is most appropriate when the injured person does not receive a regular salary.
Through a variety of investigative protocols, we are often able to demonstrate weaknesses in the plaintiffs’ business at the time of alleged incapacity or death. Evidence includes financial issues, unfiled or pending litigation, future loss of key employees or clients, tax liabilities, criminal investigations, as well as other issues that would indicate the potential of failure had the business continued.
Please contact our office for additional information.