Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning CapacityOne of the consequences of sustaining a personal injury or being in an accident is missing time from work as you recover. Being out of work means being without income for many people. Making ends meet with added medical bills and expenses can be challenging. 

Fortunately, loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are damages you can recover for a personal injury claim. A Lexington personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for lost wages and other economic damages. They can also help you recover compensation for your non-economic damages, including pain and suffering damages.

What Is a Loss of Earnings Claim in Lexington, Kentucky?

Lost earnings are a type of economic damages included in a personal injury claim. It represents the amount of earnings you would have earned had you not been injured. Loss of earnings can include, but is not limited to:

  • Salaries
  • Hourly wages
  • Commissions
  • Tips
  • Overtime pay
  • Income from a second job
  • Freelance work
  • Independent contractor work
  • Business income

If you are unable to return to work, loss of earnings also includes future lost wages. Additionally, the claim can include a reduction in earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from earning the same amount of income as you did before the injury. 

How To Calculate the Value of Loss of Earnings for a Lexington Personal Injury Claim

The value of your loss of earnings claim equals the income you missed because of an accident or personal injury. For instance, suppose you earn $600 per week as a salary. If you are out of work for 12 weeks because of an accident, your loss of earnings will total $7,200 (12 x $600).

However, loss of earnings claims are rarely this simple. Instead, people earn different amounts. Some individuals might be able to return to light duty, so they earn some of their income while recovering from an accident. Additionally, a claim can include the loss of benefits associated with your income, including paid time off, vacation time, sick leave, and matching retirement funds from your employer. 

An insurance company might try to undervalue your loss of earnings claim. Before accepting a settlement offer, talking with a Lexington personal injury attorney is wise. An attorney can review the offer to ensure you receive an amount that compensates you for all damages you sustained. 

Calculating Future Loss of Earnings for a Lexington Personal Injury Claim

If your injuries cause a permanent impairment or disability, you could be entitled to compensation for future lost wages and diminished earning capacity. The impairment must prevent you from earning as much as you would have earned had the at-fault party not caused you harm. Therefore, your attorney may consult with medical specialists, economists, financial professionals, and other expert witnesses to obtain evidence of the expected earnings you will lose.

First, you must prove that the injury prevents you from working. Medical specialists can provide reports and opinions explaining how your injuries prevent you from working. 

A vocational expert can use that information to determine what types of jobs you might be able to perform, given the medical restrictions and impairments. In some situations, a person’s impairment might prevent them from performing any type of work.

Next, financial experts and economists analyze factors to estimate your future loss of income. Factors they use include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of impairment or disability the accident caused
  • The severity of the impairments and disabilities
  • Your current age and your anticipated age of retirement
  • Your overall health and life expectancy
  • Your job, education, skills, and experience
  • The economic outlook for your chosen career
  • Your ability to perform any type of work and what you could earn if you worked
  • Missed opportunities for career development and pay increases
  • Expected rate of inflation 

If a young person sustains a catastrophic injury and is permanently disabled, the value of a loss of earnings and diminished earnings capacity claim could total millions of dollars because they would lose a lifetime of earnings. 

Insurance companies and at-fault parties have a strong incentive to fight future loss of income claims to avoid paying large settlements or jury verdicts. Therefore, the insurance company may require you to submit to independent medical examinations to gather evidence it hopes will dispute your claim. It could allege contributory fault to try to reduce your claim. 

If you sustain a serious personal injury, it is wise to hire a personal injury lawyer immediately. An attorney has the resources and knowledge necessary to build a solid case proving you are entitled to compensation for the total amount of income you lost or will lose because of another party’s negligence or intentional torts.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Lexington Personal Injury Lawyers

Our Lexington personal injury attorneys at Minner Vines Injury Lawyers, PLLC fight to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your personal injury claim. Contact our law firm to schedule your free case evaluation with an attorney. Let us help you get the money you deserve after someone causes your injury.