How is Loss of Earning Capacity Determined in an Injury Claim?

gavel on a courtroom deskWhen people are seriously harmed by another person's negligent or reckless behavior, they often need financial help. Under Tennessee laws, victims injured by negligence have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Those with severe, life-altering injuries may need even more help in the long term. A loss of earning capacity is one type of compensation that can benefit victims who may never fully recover.

Today, Greg Coleman Law explains what a loss of earning capacity is, how these damages are calculated and what evidence may help to support your claim. Find out if diminished earning capacity could help you in the future.

Our Knoxville personal injury lawyers have been helping injured victims for decades. Call today to schedule your zero-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our qualified and experienced attorneys. We are here to help.

Millions Recovered. (865) 247-0080

What Is a Loss of Earning Capacity?

People often confuse loss of earning capacity with lost wages. Lost wages are the money an injured victim missed while he or she was recovering and unable to work. 

Loss of earning capacity refers to income an injured victim has not yet earned. Victims may seek loss of earning capacity damages if their injuries - whether physical, mental, or both - impair them to the degree that they lose some or all of their ability to earn a living in the future. 

How is a Loss of Earning Capacity Determined?

Figuring out the value of a victim's loss of earning capacity is complicated. It requires reviewing various factors and then calculating a reasonable prediction about a person’s ability to earn in the future.

Determining a fair value for these damages requires the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. He or she will need to consider many relevant factors to properly assess and prove a victim's potential loss of earning capacity, including:

  • Life expectancy, based on age and pre-accident health
  • Number of years likely to have been able to work
  • Current work experience and projected career path 
  • Number of promotions already achieved 
  • Pre-accident earnings
  • Existing skills, education or other special training obtained
  • Assessed value of a victim's field and skills in the marketplace
  • Potential for job promotions and future salary raises
  • Ability to do various aspects of his or her current job

Proving Reduced Earning Capacity

In addition to the above-mentioned factors, an attorney may bring in an expert witness, such as a forensic accountant to present evidence of your losses. Having an expert testify on your behalf can add significant credibility to your claim. Experts with special knowledge or training are considered unbiased, which is why their testimony may carry more weight with a jury.

What if the Victim Was Self-Employed?

If a plaintiff is self-employed, it can be tricky, but not impossible to provide evidence that supports a loss of earning capacity. Factors that may be considered include:

  • The victim's ability to participate in the business compared to before the injury
  • The size and impact of the business itself
  • Lost profits the business has had since the victim was injured
  • Tax records to show evidence of prior years' earnings

Making Less After an Injury That Was Not Your Fault? Call Our Firm Today

If you suffered life-altering injuries that have impacted your future earnings, our firm may be able to help. It is important that you contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. Insurance companies do all they can to pay as little as possible on a claim. One misstep, however innocent, could seriously damage the value of your claim.

At Greg Coleman Law, we have the experience, knowledge and resources to build a strong claim and fight for the maximum possible compensation. Call today to get started. The initial consultation is completely free, so you can learn about your legal options without any risk to you. There is no obligation to hire our services. However, if we do represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we work your case. We only get paid when you do, and only if we win.

A firm you can trust. Ph: (865) 247-0080