Personal Maintenance / Consumption Analysis

Earning Capacity

In wrongful death cases in most jurisdictions (Kentucky and West Virginia are exceptions), it is necessary to account for the decedent’s anticipated personal consumption expenses (or expenses to maintain a certain standard of living) in determining economic losses of potential benefit to the decedent’s estate or his or her surviving family member(s).  While the general concept is the same, personal consumption expenses refer to the decedent’s likely expenses for his or her own benefit but for his or her death and personal maintenance expenses refer to the decedent’s likely expenses necessary for him or her to maintain a standard of living (e.g. poverty threshold standard; prevailing family standard) that would have reasonably allowed the decedent to maximize his or her earning capacity.  In calculating economic losses in wrongful death cases (depending on state law), personal consumption or maintenance expenses are deducted from the decedent’s earning capacity but for his or her death to formulate an estimate of the damages of potential benefit to an estate or survivors.

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Hankins & Hankins Vocational Consulting

115 West Main Street
Jonesborough, TN 37659

Telephone: 423-753-3161
Fascimile: 423-753-0193