When people imagine car accidents, they think of the physical pain that the victim suffers, or the trauma of the accident itself. What people don’t realize is those car accidents can cost a lot of money.
Filing a claim for car repairs, or even simple medical bills can seem like something you can handle on your own. The trouble comes when your car accident starts affecting your job.
That could mean anything from being a no-call no-show because you got in a car crash on your way to work, or being so badly injured that you can’t work as efficiently.
You’re losing hours while your bills are piling up. That can be extremely frustrating.
If your car accident or other personal injury has affected your work, you’ll need to first understand the specific way in which it has affected your financial situation.
What Is Loss Of Income?
When dealing with a personal injury, the term “Loss of Income” refers to wages or benefits that are lost due to the injury. For example, if you were injured and hospitalized, so you couldn’t work for a week after a car accident, you would be able to recover the payment from hours you would have worked.
In most cases, personal injury victims are able to recover lost income from the person who caused the injury. They can obtain a monetary damages award by filing a lawsuit in court against the other person or party.
Income does not need to be lost all at once in order to be recovered. For example, if the injury caused you two miss a total of 40 days spread out over the course of one year, you could still recover for those days. You will just need to document the missing days so that it is clear that the injury was the cause for the absences.
What Is Lost Earning Capacity?
“Lost Earning Capacity” refers to a decrease in a person’s ability to earn income. For example, if a person’s shoulder was permanently injured in a car accident, it may impair their ability to work in the future, especially if their job requires lifting or other use of the arms.
This type of injury may qualify for lost earning capacity and might entitle the person to damages in addition to those from lost income. Lost earning capacity is determined through a complex calculation, which might involve:
- Reviewing the injured person’s work profile, including their skills, talents, abilities, and experience
- Consulting with a doctor to determine the extent of the injury and how it would affect future work performance
- Using current market values and wage rates to determine how much income they would have lost in the future
Thus, the calculation may vary according to region, as different areas are associated with different standards of living.
How Is Lost Earning Capacity Different From Lost Income?
In general, lost earning capacity is much more difficult to prove than lost income. Calculating lost earning capacity involves making intelligent predictions about the person’s work ability at a later date in the future. Of course, this is difficult to determine exactly.
On the other hand, lost income is relatively easy to prove. It simply involves examining the person’s work attendance record and their pay stubs. With lost income, the court is dealing with events in the past that are accurately reflected in employment records. This is a relatively straight-forward procedure.
When Do I Need To Consult With A Lawyer?
Personal injuries can often lead to major changes in life, especially with regards to a person’s ability to work. If you have suffered a personal injury that has affected your ability to work, it’s important to talk to a St. Louis personal injury lawyer right away. We can help you get on the road to financial recovery.