Use Your Body To Earn A Living? What Happens If You're Injured Through Negligence?

Posted on: 10 November 2015


If you're a professional (or semi-professional) athlete, model, or entertainer, you may dread illnesses and minor injuries that can keep you sidelined until you're able to perform. Even worse can be a more serious accident that leaves you unable to work for weeks or even months -- particularly if this temporary absence from the spotlight casts a permanent shadow over the trajectory of your career. Do you have any recourse against a company or individual whose negligence led to an injury that can nag you even after recovery? Read on to learn more about the potential legal options available when a slip-and-fall accident has a significant impact on both your current and future earning ability. 

When can you sue a business for damages stemming from an injury you suffered there?

While the specific area of personal injury law dealing with customer injuries on business premises is often known as "slip and fall" law, there are a variety of other types of injuries and accidents for which someone can sue. Generally speaking, if a patron can show that the business owner breached his or her duty of care toward the public and this breach resulted in a physical injury or illness, the victim may be able to recover financial damages. 

For example, a business owner who failed to take steps to ensure his or her parking lot was clear after a snowstorm may be liable for injuries a customer suffers after falling in the parking lot or being struck by a sliding car. A restaurant owner who doesn't require his or her staff to take food handling safety courses could be liable for any hospital bills incurred by customers who contract food poisoning after a meal. Even a basketball arena's owner who fails to have staff quickly clean up sweat drips could become liable for a player's fall.

As someone whose "brand" is his or her body, these types of injuries and ailments can be debilitating for both your physical and financial health. Fortunately, with the right evidence you may be able to collect damages for both current and future financial harm. 

What will you need to prove to recover income-related damages?

In addition to evidence demonstrating that the defendant breached a duty of care and this breach directly led to your injury, you'll also need to show actual damages. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and even reimbursement on a per-mile basis for the time spent traveling between your home and the hospital or physical rehabilitation facility. As long as you can show that the defendant was at fault for your injuries, he or she will be held financially responsible for the reasonable present and future economic damages stemming from these injuries.

While it can be relatively simple for a court to calculate the amount of medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs directly resulting from your injury and issuing a judgment for this amount, bringing in future lost wages can be more of a challenge. You'll need the services of a professional personal injury attorney, such as those at The Law Offices of Gregg Durlofsky, to help you present the best case possible and improve your odds of winning a substantial recovery.

In some specialty industries -- particularly sports and entertainment -- there's always a risk that once you've been out of the spotlight for a few weeks or months, you can find it harder to regain your former status. This can sometimes make it difficult to compute an accurate amount of lost or diminished future earnings for those in these industries. Before your case goes to trial, you'll need to be prepared with information to not only show your potential earnings had you not been injured, but also to defend against the argument that your career was on a downward trajectory even pre-injury.