Car accidents may result in injuries that are serious enough to render someone incapable of returning to work.
When a car accident causes permanent damage, the person may lose the capacity to earn forever. Lost wages resulting from the injury are considered an expense and can generally be included in a car accident claim. The claim for wage loss is based on the wages that the person would have earned if the accident had never happened. If the earning capacity of the injured person is reduced by the accident, it is also included in the claim filed with the insurance company. However, it is not easy to calculate compensation for the loss of earning capacity since it is calculated as a future expense.
Calculating Compensation for Diminished Earning Capacity or Wage Loss
If you want to seek compensation for lost wages, you will have to prove that there is a substantial reason for the claim and show a way of calculating the losses. Since potential earning capacity is difficult to define, calculating compensation is not always easy. The payment may be based on the difference between the previous wages before the accident and the current wages you are now receiving. However, the other side can argue that you should be offered retraining in a new job or a completely new field. The facts of the case determine whether you can receive compensation for the loss of future wages.
Another factor to be considered is the loss of an opportunity to be promoted after the accident. This situation emerges when the injured person was about to be promoted, but the accident prevented him or her from getting the promotion. The age of the injured person when the accident happened is also taken into account in such a case. For instance, a twenty-year-old person will have a bigger potential to earn compared to a person who is only a couple of years away from retirement. The average number of working years left in the life of the injured person is taken into account by the court in calculating the compensation.
Filing A Claim for Loss of Earning Capacity
A number of factors are involved in a claim for the loss of earning capacity, which makes the entire process complicated. An experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer can assist by considering all the facts about the case and evaluating whether a settlement can be reached with the insurance company, or if the case should be taken to trial.
At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. we have 25 years of experience protecting the rights of injured car accident victims. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal rights after a car accident.
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