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What Is Loss Of Earning Capacity In A Car Accident Settlement?

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Car accidents occur all the time, and most people think it will never happen to them. If you once thought this, you might feel differently about it now after it did happen to you. If you are currently facing life-long injuries from a car accident and want to make sure you receive enough compensation for your injuries, talk to your car accident lawyer about compensation for loss of earning capacity. Here are several things to understand about this form of compensation victims often receive for their injuries.

What It Is

Loss of earning capacity is a common term used in car accident settlements; however, it is not something a victim will automatically receive. It is also not something that every car accident victim is entitled to. Loss of earning capacity is a form of compensation you can ask for if you meet one of the following conditions:

  1. The injuries you incurred from the accident will prevent you from working for the rest of your life.
  2. The injuries you incurred will reduce the amount of income you will be able to earn for the rest of your life.

In other words, if you incurred injuries that will fully heal within time, you probably will not qualify for loss of earning capacity compensation. If you miss some work from your injuries, you can ask to be compensated for lost wages, but you cannot qualify for loss of earning capacity unless you meet one of the conditions listed above.

How to Determine If You Are Entitled to It

To meet one of the conditions above, you may need some proof that your injuries are as severe as you are claiming. To prove this, you could talk to your doctors about it. If they believe you will never work again or will not be able to continue working in the same occupation, they could write medical reports that state this information. You will need these to prove your case.

You may also want to ask your employer for a letter that verifies this information. For example, if you worked as an accountant and now have a brain injury, your doctor and your employer would both probably be willing to verify that you will never be able to work as an accountant again. Your brain might not have the ability to think like it once did, and this could cause problems in your job if you continued working as an accountant.

How Your Lawyer Will Calculate It

With the right amount of evidence, you can prove that your injuries will affect the amount of income you can earn for the rest of your life. From there, your lawyer will need to calculate how much income you will lose from these injuries. To do this, your lawyer will consider the following things:

  • Your age – A young person with permanent injuries will lose a lot more future income than a person who is nearing retirement.
  • Your ability to earn some money – If you cannot earn as much money as you would have, could you still earn some money? If so, your lawyer will take this into consideration.
  • Inflation – The cost of living rises each year, and this is often called inflation. Your lawyer will consider this as well when adding up the amount of income you will lose over the rest of your life.
  • Loss of promotions and pay increases – It's also likely that your lawyer will figure in lost promotions and pay raises you probably would have received had you been able to continue working.

There is no magical formula you can use to add up how much money you will lose from future income, but loss of future income is something you are entitled to if your injuries will affect your ability to earn money.

If you have questions about your car accident case and have not yet hired a lawyer, contact a car accident lawyer, like one from Speers Reuland & Cibulskis, P.C., in your city today.