Our nation owes its freedom to the sacrifices made by members of the Armed Services. That’s why it can be so frustrating when U.S. Military personnel on active duty or in the reserves sustain a serious injury in a car accident or another seemingly-random incident. Suddenly, you or a loved one might miss out on promotions or other employment opportunities due to your accident.
If you were injured in an accident and you believe your accident has affected your ability to move up in the ranks, you could have a legitimate “lost earning capacity” case. And if you don’t take legal action right away, you could forfeit your right to be fairly compensated.
In Massachusetts, the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone has years of experience serving people who have been injured. We know how the legal system works – and we’re proud to put our knowledge to work on behalf of military personnel. Our law firm has recovered more than $500 million in verdicts, settlements, benefits and awards. Numbers don’t lie. We know how to get the job done right!
What is lost earning capacity?
The term “lost earning capacity” refers to the potential future income that a person might have received if he or she was never injured in an accident. In the military, injuries can make a dramatic difference during a soldier’s or officer’s career because they may inhibit the service member’s ability to move up the ranks.
The difference in pay can often be dramatic in the United States military. Depending on whether you’re an Enlisted Personnel (E Grade), Warrant Officer (W Grade) or Officer (O Grade), your pay could be significantly higher depending on your rank.
How much money is at stake?
Two common military grades include E4 and E5. In the U.S. Army and the Marines, E4 refers to a Corporal while E5 applies to a Sergeant. In the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, a Petty Officer 3rd Class has an E4 grade while a Petty Officer 2nd Class has an E5 grade. In the United States Air Force, E4 applies to a Senior Airman while Staff Sergeants receive an E5 pay grade. In Massachusetts, many military personnel have these ranks, especially members of the 66th Air Base Group stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base and the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee.
The difference between E4 and E5 might seem small - $185.40 a month if you have less than 2 years’ experience, according to the current Enlisted Pay Grades. But if your injury prevents you from permanently moving up a rank from Corporal to Sergeant, you could lose out on $2,224.80 a year the first year. And that number will go up each year since most military personnel receive more money the longer they serve in the armed forces. As a result, according to the current military pay scale, the difference between a Corporal and Sergeant with 12 or more years’ experience is $682.80 a month or $8,193.60 a year.
And such numbers don’t take into account the thousands of additional dollars that a retired Corporal or Sergeant receives for the rest of his or her life. That’s why it’s critical that you work with a lawyer to make sure you don’t miss out on compensation you rightfully deserve.
How can a lawyer help me with my case?
Building a legal case involving lost earning capacity can be extremely complicated. No one knows for sure what will happen during their lifetime. But there are many reasonable expectations, especially for members of the armed services.
As your attorney, we can take legal action against the person who caused your accident. The military does not need to be involved in your case whatsoever. We simply need to prove that your accident caused an injury which prevented you from taking on additional assignments or duties that would have likely resulted in a promotion.
Some law firms avoid such complicated cases. We thrive on them. That’s because we want to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s especially true for the men and women who serve our country. You put your life on the line for us every single day. Now it’s our turn to fight for your rights. Contact our law firm today. We have 12 offices conveniently located statewide.