In the state of Florida, injured accident victims are allowed to recover damages for the injuries and the harm they’ve suffered. In most cases, accident victims are able to recover lost income from the person who caused the accident by filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. To do this they must first demonstrate that the other driver caused the accident and their injuries. They must also be prepared to prove that they have lost income or will continue to lose income because of their injuries prevent them from working at the capacity they did prior to the accident.
It is important to understand the difference between the loss of income and the loss of earning capacity. Loss of income refers to the wages or benefits that you have already lost because of your injury. For example, if you missed 3 months of work because you were in the hospital and recovering from your injury, then you would be able to seek compensation for three months of lost wages and benefits.
Loss of earning capacity refers to a decrease in the person’s ability to earn income. It is also known as loss of future earnings or impairment of earning power. If you are unable to maintain employment or maintain your current position because of your injury and disability, then you can seek to recover the money for that future loss.
For example, if you sustained a serious hand injury in a car accident and you were a surgeon, you may be unable to continue to perform surgeries. As a result, you’ve lost the ability to earn income the way you did prior to the accident.
Determining lost earning capacity is complex and involves specific calculations and review. Before arriving at a dollar amount, your lawyer must take into consideration your prior work history, including your skills, talents and abilities, and education. A medical expert is often hired during this process to determine the extent of the injury and how it would affect your ability to continue in your chosen profession and maintain gainful employment. Using current market values and wage rates in your field, your attorney will then calculate how much future income you will lose because of your injury or disability.
In general, proving lost earning capacity is difficult and complex. It can be subjective in nature and often requires medical expert testimony, as well as vocational expert testimony. The courts will need to take into account how much money you are losing now, as well as how your career would have progressed had you not suffered a disability or severe injury. This can be difficult because courts will need to consider your potential for future promotions, raises, and advancements in your field.
At Fetterman & Associates, we understand the complications that can arise after a serious injury accident. Being unable to work or provide for your family can cause significant financial burdens for families already struggling to cope with the aftermath of an accident. Unfortunately, calculating loss of earning capacity is difficult and without an experienced lawyer on your side, you may not obtain the money you need. Contact an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer at Fetterman & Associates today to learn more about how to prove loss of earning capacity. Contact the law team today at (561) 845-2510 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.
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