In Florida an injured person’s loss of future earning capacity must be based on pre-injury life expectancy

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Apr 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Leesburg, Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, discusses recent appellate ruling holding that a client's pre-injury life expectancy must be used when determining a client's loss of future earning capacity.

A discussion of this concept requires a step back and a general look at Damages that are allowed in injury cases. Compensatory damages in a personal injury or medical malpractice case includes economic damages and non-economic (pain and suffering) damages.  Lost wages or loss of a client's ability to earn money in the future is called Loss of Future Earning Capacity.

The recent case of Estrada v. Mercy Hospital, Inc. is a failure to timely diagnose breast cancer case based on a radiologist's failure to report microcalcifications on a mammogram.  Because the microcalcifications were not reported, the patient's cancer was not diagnosed until 2 ½ years later, and by the time it was diagnosed, the cancer had progressed to Stage 3C.  Both sides of the case agreed that the patient had a decreased life expectancy.

Post-Injury Life Expectancy versus Pre-Injury Life Expectancy

Mercy Hospital wanted the arbitrators in this case to take the patient's post injury life expectancy into account when deciding her loss of the ability to earn income in the future.  This calculation was considerably less than if the arbitrators would use the patient's pre-injury life expectancy.  The arbitrators agreed with Mercy Hospital and awarded the patient $365,000 in future loss of earning capacity. The patient appealed and the Third District Court of Appeal disagreed with the arbitrators findings.  The Third District looked at how other states handled this issue and ruled:

The patient's damages for loss of future earning capacity must be based upon her pre-injury life expectancy.

This is an important concept to understand in failure to timely diagnose medical malpractice cases or other personal injury cases where the injury shortens the client's life expectancy.  The difference between these two positions can be thousands of dollars in compensation.

If you have any questions about a Florida medical malpractice or personal injury claim, you can call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

What makes me Unique?

What distinguishes my firm from the many injury firms throughout the state is my background as a chiropractic physician treating injured patients for 17 years. This gives you the benefit of having someone fighting for you that understands the nature and extent of your injuries and your road to recovery.

We are Partners

If you are my client, we are partners in your road to recovery. You will always have direct access to me to have your questions answered.

Copyright © 2017 Guy S. DiMartino DC, JD, PA

Areas That We Serve: Hammond, IN | Highland , IN | St. John, IN | Schererville, IN | Griffith, IN | Merrillville, IN | Hobart, IN | Portage, IN | Burns Harbor, IN | Ogden Dunes, IN | Gary, IN | South Haven, IN | Valparaiso, IN | Kouts, IN | Knox, IN | Hebron, IN | DeMotte, IN | Cedar Lake, IN | Crown Point, IN | Dyer, IN | Lowell, IN | Michigan City, IN | LaPorte, IN | Wanatah, IN | Westville, IN | Winamac, IN | South Bend, IN | Plymouth, IN | Elkhart, IN | Whiting, IN | Rolling Prairie, IN