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What is lost earning capacity?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When you suffer an injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of a car accident, you probably know that you can seek financial compensation for your medical bills. After all, another party may have been responsible for the accident, either causing it through their intentional conduct or through negligent or reckless action. You wouldn’t have had those medical bills otherwise, so that party should provide compensation to cover your costs.

In addition, you know that you’re going to spend time out of work while you recover, so you may be able to seek compensation for those lost wages. You may also be in a position to seek compensation for lost earning capacity. What does this mean and why would you want to seek compensation for it as well?

A reduction in earning ability

Essentially, lost earning capacity just means that the ramifications of the accident will make it impossible for you to earn any wages, or at least to earn the same amount of wages that you would have otherwise. Your future financial potential has been lowered as a result of the harm you’ve suffered.

An example of this could be if a medical student was injured in a car accident shortly before becoming a surgeon. Due to a hand injury, their career as a surgeon is derailed. They would still be able to work in a different career, but a medical career as a surgeon is far more lucrative than many of the jobs they could pursue with that hand injury.

Another example could be if someone was consistently getting promotions and moving up the corporate ladder. However, after suffering a TBI, their personality changed and they were no longer able to get all of those promotions. They may have struggled with cognitive disabilities that they didn’t have before or simple personality changes that make it more difficult to network.

Seeking compensation

As you can imagine, a reduction in earning capacity could be significantly more expensive than wages lost while getting initial medical treatment. It’s very important to understand what legal options you have in the wake of a serious injury, as a failure to do so could impact you financially for years to come.