How To Prove Lost Wages And Loss Of Earning Capacity In A Personal Injury Claim

Being injured in any kind of accident because of someone else’s negligence puts you in an overwhelming situation. Like many of our clients, you may have physical and emotional injuries to deal with, medical expenses piling up, and no idea how to handle it all physically or financially. And in some cases, you are probably also worried about how to provide for your family in the event you are unable to work due to the injuries sustained by the accident.

Although you could file a personal injury claim against the at-fault person’s insurance company on your own to seek compensation for your present and future lost wages, it’s highly advised to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests. Proving your lost wages and future earning capacity is an essential aspect of your personal injury claim. It requires a deep understanding of the legal system and the ability to gather compelling evidence. Without proper documentation, you risk losing out on the income you would have earned.

In this blog, we explore the steps involved in proving lost wages and future earning capacity, including gathering evidence, calculating potential earnings, and presenting a persuasive case. Understanding these key elements, with the assistance of a Carrollton personal injury lawyer, will increase your chances of securing fair compensation in your personal injury claim.

What Are Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case?

As traumatic as it feels, the world around you moves on after your accident even if injuries have caused your own life to come to a halt. Bills still need to be paid. Mortgages must be fulfilled and the needs of family members met. For numerous clients, they also face the added pressure of not being able to work at their current job due to severe injuries. All because of someone else’s negligence.

So how do you right this wrong? According to Texas law, individuals who have suffered injuries in accidents may be entitled to receive compensation including damages for lost wages or reduction in future earning capacity.

Lost wages cover the income an individual would have earned at his/her present occupation if they had not been injured due to the at-fault party’s negligence. This type of compensation is available when the injured party can show that they suffered a loss in earnings as a result of the injury and will continue to suffer a loss of earning in the future due to their injuries.

It is important to note that a person does not need to be permanently injured to recover lost wages. Even if the injured party is expected to fully recover, they may still experience a temporary loss of income during their recovery period. Additionally, certain injuries may result in a decreased capacity to work or the need to switch to a lower-paying job, which can also be compensated.

For instance, consider a scenario where an individual who previously worked as an electrician sustains a spinal cord injury in a car accident, rendering them unable to perform their previous physical job duties. While they might be able to work in a different capacity, they are forced to seek work that does not pay as well as their previous career. As a result, their earning capacity would be significantly diminished if they were forced to take a lower-paying job.

When determining future earning capacity, several important factors come into play. This is where a personal injury lawyer is beneficial as they will carefully consider all avenues relating to your specific situation. By way of example, an experienced personal injury attorney will consider issues like:

  • Pre-accident income levels: The average earnings prior to the accident are taken into account to establish a baseline for future earning capacity assessment.
  • Previous financial incentives: Bonuses received in the past and raises in salary or hourly pay based on previous patterns are considered to evaluate potential future income growth.
  • Job-related limitations: The physical and mental limitations resulting from the injury are assessed to determine their impact on the individual’s ability to perform their current job or seek alternative employment.
  • Employer-provided benefits: The availability of paid time off or other benefits provided annually by the employer may influence the calculation of future earning capacity.
  • Evaluation of injury permanency: The medical providers’ assessment of the injury’s permanency is considered to gauge the long-term impact on the individual’s ability to work and earn income.
  • Personal attributes and qualifications: Age, education, skills, and experience are weighed in assessing future earning capacity as they play a crucial role in employment prospects and potential income levels.

Types Of Evidence That Can Help To Prove Lost Wages And Loss Of Earning Capacity

While there is no exact formula to determine lost wages and loss of earning capacity, your personal injury lawyer’s expertise and assessment play a significant role in determining the income loss. Calculating loss of income in a personal injury claim is a nuanced process, relying on various factors and evidence presented by your lawyer. Documentation and evidence that your personal injury lawyer will collect on your behalf to aid in your claim may include:

  • Earnings statements;
  • Tax returns;
  • Medical records;
  • Vocational expert reports;
  • Insurance company records;
  • Testimony from medical experts; and
  • Statements from the injured person, accident victim, or injured party

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer is Essential To Your Financial Stability

One common concern when hiring an attorney is the cost involved. This is understandable, especially if you are not currently able to work. It’s important to understand that personal injury lawyers, like our team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, typically operate on a contingency basis, meaning we only receive payment if you do. This arrangement eliminates upfront costs and instead involves a percentage of the earned award after the settlement or judgment is finalized. If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, seeking legal help may be the most responsible way to obtain adequate damages and secure your financial future.

How To Prove Lost Wages And Loss Of Earning Capacity In A Personal Injury Claim

Talk to a Carrollton Personal Injury Attorney Now About Your Case

If you’ve been involved in an accident or incident for which someone else is responsible, you deserve maximum compensation. By talking to one of the personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, we will fight for your financial future, including the loss of wages you are entitled to. This ensures that you don’t accept an insufficient offer from the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Our clients lose nothing by hiring us. Remember — we don’t get paid until you do. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us guide you through your legal options.