Difference Between Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

loss-of-earning capacity

When you suffer a car crash in Augusta, GA, you can seek compensatory damages if the other driver was at fault, including lost wages and loss of earning capacity. A wide range of damages are available to car crash victims in Georgia. The actual damages that can be recovered in a given crash vary from one accident to another. An Augusta car accident lawyer can provide you with a ballpark figure of the total amount that you can likely receive in damages.

An important part of a car crash settlement comprises loss of income. At the same time, some car accident victims may also be entitled to recover damages for lost earning capacity. Both types of damages are distinct and it is important to understand how they differ before you file a car accident claim.

How Is Loss of Income Defined?

Being injured in a car crash can leave a real impact on your life. The injuries may force you to take time away from work. This time away may be a few days, a few weeks, or even months and years. You may then face the following types of losses:

  • Loss of monthly wage, for the full duration of your time away from work
  • Loss of any additional benefits offered by your employment
  • Loss of special commissions, overpay, and bonuses

Loss of income is an economic type of damages. This means that it is possible to place a dollar value on it. This type of loss is typically in the past at the time you file a claim or a lawsuit to recover damages. So it is easier to furnish proof of such loss by providing medical records of your injuries as well as employment details such as wages and benefits from your employer.

What Is Lost Earning Capacity?

Lost earning capacity refers to a significant decrease in your ability to earn wages following an accident. This type of damages typically refers to future losses you are likely to suffer due to your injuries. For instance, if you are a typist and draw your wages from this skill, you may not be able to earn through this skill if you suffer permanent damage to your fingers in an accident. This marks a decrease in your earning capacity.

Due to such permanent damage, you are no longer able to earn wages in the same way. You also stand to lose all the promotions, job benefits, and other expected advantages of your previous job had the accident not occurred. All these losses are covered under lost earning capacity.

Loss of Income vs. Lost Earning Capacity

Loss of income, as noted above, refers to damages in the past. Lost earning capacity refers to expected losses in the future. As such, it is easier to prove loss of income damages. In contrast, you have to furnish more detailed evidence to substantiate a claim for lost earning capacity damages.

In order to prove a lost earning capacity claim, you will need to:

  • Ask a medical professional to testify as to the extent, nature, and severity of your injuries. The professional must also be able to show how the injuries impose physical or mental limitations on your abilities.
  • Prove to a vocational expert that your injuries indeed limit your ability to function in the pre-crash manner. The expert may then see if the injuries impact your ability to perform specific tasks related to your job.
  • Provide detailed information regarding your skills and your previous work experience. Any loss of ability or earning capacity will be measured by comparing your present capacities with your pre-crash abilities and skills. If a notable difference exists, you may be awarded lost earning capacity damages.
  • Aid the court in determining accurate current wage rates and value of the associated benefits so that the court can accurately estimate your net losses.

For these reasons, proving lost earning capacity claims is relatively harder. However, if you have the right evidence and get the help of a good lawyer, you may be able to recover a significant amount of future losses in lieu of these damages.

Hiring a Reliable Augusta Car Accident Lawyer

If you have suffered a car accident in Augusta, GA, it is imperative that you get legal help at the earliest. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we help Augusta car crash victims recover the maximum amount of compensation for their past and future losses associated with the crash. Reach out to us today to discuss your car crash claim with our lawyers.

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