Do You Have Questions About Lost Earning Capacity in California? Get the Answers You Need

If you have reduced or lost earning capacity due to personal injury in California, someone else may be responsible for compensating you. However, this can be a confusing process. Keep reading to get answers to some of the most common questions we get about this issue. Then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.

What is the Difference Between “Lost Wages” and “Lost Earning Capacity”?

These may sound similar but they are very different. Income and earnings lost before the lawsuit or the date that the settlement goes into effect are considered lost wages. However, lost earning capacity refers to the plaintiff’s loss of their ability to earn future income. It is the money the plaintiff would have likely received if they had not been injured. Lost wages are more difficult to prove because the loss has not yet occurred.

Do Only Permanent Injuries Qualify for Lost Earning Capacity Damages?

No. If a plaintiff is at trial or about to settle and their injury is not fully recovered, they can be awarded lost earning capacity damages for the estimated duration of their recovery. This generally happens for injuries like traumatic brain injury that are likely to continue for quite some time.

What is the Timeframe by Which I Must Sue if I Have Suffered Lost Earnings?

You do not have an unlimited amount of time to sue if you have experienced lost earnings in California. For most personal injury cases in California, this is two years. However, there are certain factors that can lengthen or reduce this amount of time. For example, medical malpractice cases must be filed within one year and any case in which a government agency is a defendant must have action taken on it within six months.

What Specific Types of Income Can Be Included in Lost Earning Capacity?

If you earn a salary with specifically outlined benefits, it may be easy to determine what your lost earning capacity was but for others it may not be as simple. It includes salary, expected overtime pay, bonuses, 401K contributions, commissions, perks or bonuses (such as free meals or trips), self-employment income, vacation or personal days, and raises.

How Are Damages Calculated?

There are a number of factors that go into determining the amount of damages included in a lost earning capacity case. The factors your personal injury attorney is likely to consider as they negotiate include how long the injury is likely to last, the age of the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s life expectancy prior to the accident, and whether or not they are likely to return to their job.

If you have been injured and have lost your ability to continue earning as you have been, then you may have a case. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now to request a free legal consultation.