Can You Get Compensation for Lost Earning Capacity After an Accident?

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Source: forbes.com

Some accidents lead to devastating and permanent injuries that prevent you from working at full capacity. If you cannot earn a wage because of an accidental injury, you may be eligible for compensation for loss of earning capacity. But there are factors to take into account when you pursue this kind of compensation as part of your personal injury claim. You should click here to know more about other damages you may be able to recover through your claim.

Understanding Loss of Earning Capacity

Source: forbes.com

You may be eligible for compensation that covers loss of earning capacity if you failed to earn an income at full capacity because of your accident-related injury. Loss of earning capacity is a type of economic damage you can sustain until the end of your work-life expectancy. But not all personal injury claims can include these damages. Lost earning capacity may just be available if you sustained a debilitating injury such as paralysis.

In addition, a claim for loss of earning capacity may also apply to some mental injuries. For instance, a serious brain injury can limit your cognitive function to do your job, especially if it requires mental focus. In this case, you may be able to seek compensation or lost earning capacity.

The Difference Between Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity

Personal injury insurance claims often include lost wages. When an accident victim sustains a severe injury, they may not be able to work for a while healing. Lost wages refer to the work time and paychecks missed. Usually, this lost money is reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurer and represents a part of the recovery the victim could get through a personal injury lawsuit.

Meanwhile, lost earning capacity covers more than just lost wages. It also takes into account the amount of time the victim may spend away from work due to their injuries.

If the injuries are permanent or lead to lifelong complications, their lost earning capacity damages may extend beyond the insurance settlement or judgment date. If an accident loses the capacity to earn an income for a long period, they deserve compensation for these losses.

A lost earning capacity claim may not be easy to calculate. It requires estimates of the earning potential of the victim. But such numbers need to be accurate. A lost earning capacity claim will impact the care quality the victim gets over the years and their family’s lifestyle.

Determining the Value of Your Lost of Earning Capacity Claim

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To determine the value of your lost earning capacity, your ability to earn a living following your injury will be assessed. Factors such as your age, previous work history, occupation, employment records, field experience, level of education, comparative wage rates in the field, and certifications must be taken into account. Also, it is essential to consider your job duration before the accident and injury.

The years of service you spent with one employer could mean you would have been promoted had you not sustained an injury. Factors and details that are used to calculate the value of your lost earning capacity include your age and overall health, work history, life expectancy, other jobs you can do, as well as the kind and seriousness of your impairment or disability.

What If You Can Work at a Different Kind of Job?

To deny monetary compensation for lost earning capacity, an insurance provider may argue that you can change careers. However, this doesn’t apply to every case. Some people who specialize in specific fields would give up a big percentage of their wages to change professions. Any reduction in your wage should be considered when determining your claim’s total value.

Proving Your Loss of Earning Capacity

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If the injury you have sustained in an accident is preventing you from going to work or reducing your future earnings, you may be eligible for compensation for your future losses. But proving this damage can be hard.

You can only be compensated for lost earning capacity if you can prove you cannot work because of your injuries. Through your medical records, the insurer will know the extent of your injuries. Also, your doctor’s statements can establish the seriousness of your injuries and how it affects your ability to work. Finally, your employer’s testimony can demonstrate that you cannot perform essential work tasks due to your injuries.

In general, you need expert witnesses such as vocational experts to explain the way your injuries prevent you from doing certain tasks associated with your current jobs or other jobs. Also, you must prove the amount of money you have earned according to future income projections. Lastly, you should establish the amount you can earn based on the limitations that resulted from your injuries.

Working with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

Compensation for lost earning capacity is not available for everyone. Some accident victims gain full recovery from their injuries and go to work again with few hiccups. Other victims may need to try a new career through which they can earn as much as their previous job. But you cannot calculate a loss of earning capacity by yourself. Only an experienced injury lawyer has the necessary qualification to put a dollar value on your case.

Insurance providers are expected to fight future lost income including lost earning capacity since such claims can involve millions of dollars over a claimant’s lifetime. If you suffered serious or permanent injuries, you should seek legal advice right away. Letting an attorney work on your case as soon as possible lets you prepare for the fight for compensation.

Personal injury cases can be exhausting and intimidating. A reliable lawyer can guide you through the claim’s details and consider your desired outcome. They will prioritize what’s best for you as they handle your case without causing significant disruptions in your life. They can take the burden off your shoulders by handling your case throughout the litigation. Also, they can negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company, seek full compensation for all of your losses, and protect your rights in the process. They can give you court representation if you decide to sue the negligent party.

NYC personal injury lawyer shares: In Newy York, the calculation of lost earnings due to injury or other circumstances, such as in personal injury cases, is a complex process that aims to quantify the financial impact of the inability to work.