CACI 3903D is a jury instruction used in California civil trials to guide jurors in calculating damages for lost earning capacity. This instruction is given to jurors when the plaintiff seeks damages for a loss of earning capacity resulting from the defendant’s wrongful conduct.
The instruction outlines the factors that jurors should consider when determining the value of lost earning capacity, including the plaintiff’s age, occupation, education, training, experience, and earning history, as well as the extent and duration of the plaintiff’s disability or impairment resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
Jurors are instructed to determine the amount of money that will reasonably compensate the plaintiff for the loss of earning capacity that the plaintiff is reasonably certain to sustain in the future as a result of the defendant’s conduct. The amount awarded should reflect the present value of the loss over the plaintiff’s work life expectancy.
Here is how to calculate damages for lost earning capacity according to CACI 3903D:
Determine the plaintiff’s pre-injury earning capacity: To calculate the plaintiff’s pre-injury earning capacity, you will need to consider their employment history, education, training, experience, and other relevant factors. This can be done by reviewing the plaintiff’s past earnings, education level, work experience, and any other relevant factors.
Determine the plaintiff’s post-injury earning capacity: The plaintiff’s post-injury earning capacity is the amount of money they are capable of earning after their injury. This can be determined by looking at the plaintiff’s current employment status, medical records, and expert testimony from vocational or economic experts.
3) Calculate the Difference
Calculate the difference between pre-injury and post-injury earning capacity: Once you have determined the plaintiff’s pre-injury and post-injury earning capacity, you can calculate the difference between the two. This is the amount of lost earning capacity the plaintiff has suffered.
Discount the lost earning capacity to present value: The lost earning capacity is then discounted to its present value to account for the fact that the plaintiff will receive the award in the future, and to adjust for inflation. The discount rate used to calculate the present value will depend on various factors, including inflation rates and current interest rates.
5) Collateral Benefits
Consider collateral benefits: Collateral benefits are benefits that the plaintiff receives from sources other than the defendant, such as workers’ compensation or disability insurance. Collateral benefits should be deducted from the lost earning capacity to avoid double recovery.
6) Life Expectancy
Consider the plaintiff’s life expectancy: Finally, the plaintiff’s life expectancy should be taken into account when calculating lost earning capacity. This can be done by multiplying the annual lost earning capacity by the number of years the plaintiff is expected to live.
Hire a Professional
By following these steps, you can calculate the damages for lost earning capacity according to CACI 3903D. It’s important to note that this is a complex process, and it’s advisable to consult with an attorney or other expert to ensure accurate and complete calculations.