Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

If you were in an accident or sustained a personal injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering in addition to your financial losses. Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you could be out of work for a long time. If so, loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity may be a significant portion of your economic damages.

Even though you know you deserve reimbursement for your losses, the insurance company for the at-fault party may not cooperate. Our personal injury lawyers can help you gather the evidence proving how much your loss of earnings is worth, including the reduction in future earning capacity.

What Is Included in a Loss of Earnings Claim for a Personal Injury Case?

Your loss of earnings includes all income you lost because of your injuries. Examples of loss of earnings for a personal injury case include:

  • Annual salary income
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Commissions
  • Tips
  • Bonuses
  • Part-time income
  • Earnings as a gig worker or independent contractor
  • Freelance income
  • Bonuses

Loss of earnings can also include benefits you lost because you were out of work, such as sick time or Paid time off (PTO). Your retirement contributions and matching contributions you could have made while you were out of work might also be considered a loss of earnings.

Proving loss of earnings requires you to prove that you could not work because of your injuries. Therefore, prompt medical treatment after an accident or injury is essential. In complex cases, we may hire medical specialists and other experts to provide opinions explaining how your injuries prevented you from working and earning an income.

We also gather evidence proving your income before your injury, such as tax returns, pay stubs, income statements, 1099s, and other proof of income. We analyze your income to determine how much you could have earned had you worked during your recovery.

Future Lost Wages, Including Diminished Earning Capacity

Permanent impairments and disabilities can impact your ability to work. If so, your future earning capacity may be lower than it would have been had you not been injured. The amount of your claim depends on several factors.

Factors used to determine the value of diminished earning capacity and future lost wages include:

  • The type of injuries you sustained
  • The impairment or disability you developed
  • The severity of the impairment or disability
  • Whether you can perform any type of work to earn an income
  • The type of work or career you had before the accident
  • Your current age and your anticipated retirement age
  • The estimated inflation rates and the outlook for your career or job

Calculating the value of diminished earning capacity and future lost wages is complicated. Many of the factors used to value these damages are subjective, so there could be several defenses to the valuation. An experienced personal injury lawyer works with numerous experts to gather opinions and evidence to support your claim. 

For example, medical specialists and vocational experts can provide opinions explaining how your impairment prevents you from working or restricts the type or amount of work you can perform. Economists and financial professionals estimate the amount you could have earned had you been able to keep working based on your previous jobs and income.

Each diminished earning capacity and loss of earnings claim is different. It is based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you were involved in an accident and have suffered damages, you may be entitled to compensation. Loss of earning and diminished earning capacity are two types of economic damages you can claim. 

Depending on the facts of your case, you could receive a lucrative monetary award that can help you move forward with your life as best as possible. Get in touch with a qualified personal injury lawyer, our experienced personal injury lawyers at Mission Personal Injury Lawyers can help you with your case. Contact our law office at (619) 777-5555 to schedule a free consultation.