A mixed-martial artist (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight fighter, Matt Grice, is struggling for his life in an intensive care unit following a car accident in Oklahoma City. The fighter was apparently rear-ended in his car while waiting at a red light in his hometown. As of September 9, 2013, he was scheduled to undergo brain surgery (http://lat.ms/18x3Jf0).
During his ongoing recovery, Grice had been scheduled to fight on October 6. Now, that fight has been pulled from the highly publicized event along with the chance for prize money. This brings up the question of damages against the person driving the vehicle that struck Grice. In a personal injury claim, plaintiffs seek financial compensation for money lost. This includes medical expenses (both present and future medical bills to treat the resulting injuries), lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Regarding lost wages, what damages are available from a personal injury claim in which the wages can depend on fluctuating factors, such as payments contingent on winning future MMA fights?
In Missouri, calculating lost wages begins with coordinating documentation with your personal injury attorney on current and potential earnings. Usually, a person can gather much of this information by asking the employer, if applicable, for pay history, availability of overtime, upcoming promotions or pay increases, and unpaid vacation or other time off that the person would be entitled to if not for the injury. As in Matt Grice’s situation, the calculation of lost wages does address any lost opportunity to work. It is likely that he had a contract in which he could expect to fight a certain number of times per year for a set number of years. Also, Grice worked as an Oklahoma City police officer, so the evaluation of future losses also would incorporate his potential earnings in that job.
By looking at the history of the injured person as well as potential earnings, the court is better able to forecast and set a more accurate estimation of lost wages.