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Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

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Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

If you’re injured in an accident, it can be a significant financial hardship. Not only do accident victims have medical bills and expenses, but they also usually have reduced income. It’s common for accident victims to miss work after an accident, and some never return to work at full capacity after an accident. 

If your injuries have impacted your ability to work, you could be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings. A Tampa personal injury lawyer can help with your claim for diminished earning capacity. Here’s an overview of loss earnings and diminished earning capacity claims. 

Filing a Claim for Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity 

In a personal injury case, if another person caused your accident, you could be entitled to compensation for damages incurred in the accident. There are two broad categories of damages: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages reimburse accident victims for tangible losses caused by the accident. 

Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate and include: 

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate and compensate victims for things like: 

Loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are types of economic damages that reimburse accident victims for lost income. After an accident, your personal injury lawyer will either file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

As part of your claim, your lawyer will calculate your total damages. Loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are types of economic damages that will be included in your total damages claim. 

What Is the Difference Between Loss of Earnings & Diminished Earning Capacity?

Loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are both types of economic damages, but they deal with two separate losses. 

Loss of earnings covers past missed work or reduced income. These damages reimburse you for income you’ve already lost because of your accident. 

Loss of earnings reimburses you for losses, including: 

  • Missed work while recovering from your injuries 
  • Missed work because of doctor’s appointments
  • Reduced hours because of your injuries
  • Reduced pay because of job changes to accommodate your injuries. 

In contrast, diminished earning capacity is compensation for future losses. These damages reimburse accident victims for the future income they’re expected to lose because of their injuries. Diminished earning capacity damages only apply when you suffer a chronic or permanent disability. It compensates accident victims who will never return to work at full capacity. 

When filing a personal injury claim, it’s helpful to understand that loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are two different types of damages, and you can file a claim for both. A Tampa personal injury attorney can help you understand the difference and determine the type of damages available in your case. 

How Do You Calculate Loss of Earning Damages? 

You’ll need evidence to support your claim, as insurance companies work hard to minimize this type of damages. 

To calculate loss of earnings, your personal injury lawyer will calculate: 

  • Lost income due to missed work 
  • Lost income due to reduced hours
  • Reduced income due to changes in work tasks because of injuries 

The next step is finding evidence to support this calculation. 

This evidence will include: 

  • Pay stubs and employment records
  • Employer statements 
  • Tax returns
  • Medical reports and medical diagnoses
  • Physician statements
  • Expert witness testimony

If you’ve lost income because of an accident, it’s helpful to work with a personal injury lawyer to calculate your loss of earnings. 

How Do You Calculate Diminished Earning Capacity Damages?

Diminished earning capacity is even more difficult to calculate than loss of earnings. For this number, you need to consider all future income you will lose because of your accident. Expert testimony is essential for this calculation, and personal injury lawyers regularly utilize vocational experts, economists, and financial experts.

In addition, several factors help calculate diminished earning capacity, including: 

  • Age of the accident victim and the anticipated retirement age
  • Life expectancy 
  • Work history 
  • Education
  • Skills and expertise
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Work location
  • Estimated rate of inflation
  • Type and severity of injuries or disability 

This number can be hard to calculate, but it’s important to get it right. Your personal injury claim is your opportunity to get compensation for the income you’ll lose over your lifetime because of your accident. If you’re unable to return to work or work at full capacity, you and your family will rely on this compensation to cover everyday expenses and pay bills. 

Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer for Help with a Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity Claim 

Accident victims often experience significant financial hardships. If you’re unable to work because of an accident, contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers. Call us today at (813) 223-6200

Your attorney can help analyze your case and create a personalized strategy to get the compensation you deserve.

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