Loss of earning is typical fallout from car accident cases. Car accidents are a significant problem around the US. However, Atlanta car accident lawyers believe that the issue is pretty severe in Georgia. This is because statistics show that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury deaths in Georgia. Vehicle collisions are also responsible for most ER visits in Georgia.
When these accidents occur, people are often focused on the immediate consequences of the crash. This includes the medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages. However, some other issues can come up later. Chief amongst these are future medical bills and lost earning capacity.
Car accidents can be so severe that they affect the victim’s ability to earn money in the future. Fortunately, Georgia law allows accident victims to claim compensation for lost earning capacity. First, however, you’ll need the best Atlanta car accident lawyers at Calvin Smith Law. So, it’ll be best to call an attorney if you’ve survived a car crash.
What Is Lost Earning Capacity?
Loss of earning capacity is a reduction to an injured party’s income-earning capacity. It calculates the amount this victim might lose in the future because of the injury. That’s why you can also refer to this type of damage as loss of earning potential.
Loss of earning capacity often arises with catastrophic injuries. These wounds usually disable the victim. Consequently, this victim will be unable to continue working. For example, imagine a construction worker losing an arm or leg in an accident. Loss of earning capacity may also flow from a change of profession.
For instance, the construction worker above will have to find alternative employment. Sadly, though, this new job may have lower earning potential than their previous employment. Loss of earning capacity calculates the victim’s economic losses until the end of their work-life expectancy.
Income Covered Under Loss of Earning Capacity
Loss of earning capacity provides compensation for various income types. These include:
- Other work benefits
- Stock options
- Income from side businesses
- Overtime income earnings
- Loss of career opportunities
- 401 (k) contributions
- Other profitable engagements of the victim
Lost Wages vs. Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost wages are different from the loss of earning capacity. Firstly, a claim for lost earnings specifically demands the amount of money lost when the injured party stays off work. This would include your wages for the weeks, months, or years you missed work.
Conversely, loss of earning capacity refers to money you would lose in the future. So, this isn’t a definite figure. Instead, the court merely calculates how much you would have earned in the future but for the injury.
Calculating Loss of Earning Capacity
Indeed, loss of earning potential falls under economic damages. However, evaluating this class of damages is as challenging as non-economic damages. This is because it’s difficult to determine how an injury would affect one’s future earning capacity. Thus, evaluating your claim would also be more complex than calculating lost wages.
Here, the court will make an award after considering certain factors. Some of them include the victim’s:
- Line of work or professional field
- Standard of education
- Skills, talents, and abilities
- Other qualifications, including professional certifications
- Work history
- History of work promotions and wage raises
- Skill improvements
- Current market value and pay rates for professionals in that field
- Chances of future advancement in the profession and wage raises
What About Self Employed Car Accident Victims?
The court may consider some other factors for self-employed victims. These factors would include:
- Drops in business profits
- Consequential changes in business size and nature
- Employee count and capital
- The extent of participation in the business
- Existing business cashflow and income
- Business growth in the past
- Medical expert witnesses
Expert witnesses can also help your loss of earning capacity claim. This is why immediate medical attention is crucial. A doctor can explain to the court the extent of your injury. Furthermore, such medical personnel can show how this injury affects your ability to work. Finally, the doctor can show how long the disability will last. All these factors are crucial for determining your loss of earning capacity.
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Can Get You Compensation for Your Lost Earning Capacity
Have you survived a Georgia car accident? If you have, then you may be eligible for compensation? Do you think the accident has adversely affected your earning capacity? Then, our lawyers at Calvin Smith Law can make the fault party pay for this. We can guarantee these great results with several years of experience, and millions in settlement and judgments won. So, it’ll be best to call us today for a FREE consultation.