Burlingame, CA Personal Injury Blog

Friday, January 16, 2015

Loss of Earnings and Loss of Earning Capacity

 Personal Injury Lawyers Assisting Victims with Compensatory Damages in San Francisco Bay and Burlingame

If a person misses time from work because they are injured then one of the types of compensatory damages they can recover in a personal injury claim is Loss of Earnings.  Loss of Earnings is sometimes simple and sometimes complex.   For a worker earning an hourly wage in a 9 to 5 job this is usually not difficult to calculate.  However for a self-employed entrepreneur the loss may be difficult or nearly impossible to quantify.  Loss of Earnings claims are always better when supported by medical documentation.  This should be remembered whether a doctor's note is required by the employer or not.

Loss of Earning Capacity is actually a separate loss reserved for significant or specific injuries.  In a Loss of Earning Capacity claim the loss is based on the injured person being unable to continue in their pre-injury occupation.  Often this involves permanent injuries.  In some cases the personal injury plaintiff is permanently disabled and will be unable to work for the rest of the their life.  However in other cases they will be able to work but not in their prior occupation.  In such cases the Loss of Earning Capacity is the difference between what they were making and what they are now worth as a worker in the job market.  For example, suppose a court reporter makes $60K/year and then permanently injures her wrist.  She may still be able to work at many occupations but cannot perform the physical dexterity necessary to continue her career as a court reporter.  She may be worth $30k/year in the job market and now has a lower earning capacity than she had previously.  The Loss of Earning Capacity claim measures and compensates for the difference as a result of the injuries sustained.  If you or a loved one have questions about Loss of Earnings or Loss of Earning Capacity as a result of a personal injury that is someone else's fault you should contact Shapiro Legal Group for a free consultation.      

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