Strengthen Waged-Based Loss Cases with a Forensic Accounting Expert Sooner Rather than Later
By: Kelly Todd
I have worked in investigative financial consulting for more than 17 years, and during my tenure I have worked with attorneys in a variety of capacities to provide financial consulting and expert support in a broad range of personal and corporate disputes. One of those capacities includes serving as a forensic accounting expert on cases involving wage-based losses.
For these types of cases, attorneys’ first instincts may be to perform the wage-based losses in-house, as the methodology to calculate seems rather straightforward. However, to avoid overlooking potential losses and increase credibility, I advise bringing in a forensic accounting expert to the case. A forensic accounting expert can provide an objective third-party perspective and financial expertise to the wage-based losses. This expert also can testify in court, adding credence to the basis of the loss calculations.
Damages for wage-based losses typically are comprised of two components:
1. Past Loss of Earnings – the earnings lost from the date of injury to the date of trial
2. Future Loss of Earnings – the earnings lost from the trial through the loss period
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the variables necessary to calculate past and future loss of earnings generally include base wage, employer paid fringe benefits, work life expectancy, life expectancy, mitigation, growth factors and a discount rate.
Recently, I worked closely on a case in North Carolina where three former employees claimed wrongful termination, alleging the reason behind their termination to be their reporting of corruption in their department to state officials.
I was hired by the plaintiffs to perform waged-based losses as well as serve as an expert witness, testifying in court in regard to the damages calculated.
After an eight-day trial, the verdict came in and the jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages to each of the plaintiffs, totaling more than $4 million in damages to the three former employees. The damages awarded were waged-based losses, including past and future loss of earnings, and emotional distress.
If you are interested in strengthening your case with a forensic accounting expert and/or want to learn more about our services and team, please contact us.