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Home > Blog > Personal Injury > The Difference Between Lost Income And Loss Of Earning Capacity

The Difference Between Lost Income And Loss Of Earning Capacity


Accidents happen in an instant and when they do, victims are left with severe injuries. When an accident was due to the negligent actions or inaction of another person, you can file a claim against them to recover compensation for your losses. Many people understand that they can claim damages such as their medical expenses and lost income. However, damages for the loss of future earning capacity are also sometimes available. So, what is the difference between lost income and loss of earning capacity? Below, our Marietta personal injury lawyer explains.

Recovering Damages for Lost Income

If an accident causes you to miss time from work, you can claim damages for lost income. Damages for lost income encompass more than just your wages, though. You can also file a claim for the following:

  • Overtime pay
  • Commissions
  • Benefits
  • Bonuses
  • Sick time
  • Vacation time
  • Income from a business

A personal injury lawyer will review all forms of income you earn so you can claim full damages for anything you lose. Like all types of damages, it is also important to determine how much income you have already lost, and how much you will lose in the future.

Calculating damages for future lost income is not always easy. Prior to your accident, your salary may have increased year-over-year or your income may have had other changes made to it, such as an increased pension over time. Even when calculating future lost income, it is important to note these damages are not the same as loss of future earning capacity.

Recovering Damages for Loss of Future Earning Capacity

Damages for loss of future earning capacity differ from damages for lost income. A loss of future earning capacity occurs when the accident causes such serious injuries that you cannot perform the same type of work in the future. For example, a person may work in construction before being involved in an accident that results in an amputation. Due to the fact that they cannot return to construction work, they may have to find another job that does not pay as well. The victim could then file a claim for loss of future earning capacity for the difference between their old job and their new job.

Proving Lost Income and Loss of Future Earning Capacity

Proving lost income is fairly easy and typically only requires documentation pertaining to your wages, as well as expert testimony that you could not work due to your accident. Your employer can also testify that you have not been working. Proving loss of future earning capacity is much more complex and may require a full review of your skills, work experience, and career trajectory. A medical expert can also testify about how your injuries will prevent you from returning to the same line of work in the future.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Marietta Can Prove Your Damages

If you have been hurt in an accident, our Marietta personal injury lawyers at The Strickland Firm will fight to recover all of your losses. Call us today at 1-844-GAJUSTICE or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn how much your case may be worth.

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