Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

Loss of earnings is a type of economic damages you can recover compensation for through a personal injury claim. It represents the income and benefits you could have earned had it not been for another party’s negligent or intentional acts. You can receive compensation for lost wages, benefits, earning capacity, and other income if your injuries prevent you from working after an accident.

Our Augusta personal injury lawyers can work with you to identify all loss of earnings for your personal injury claim. We may consult with financial professionals and other experts to maximize the amount of your claim as well.

What Is Included in Loss of Earnings for an Augusta Personal Injury Case?

Loss of earnings encompasses all income you would have earned had you not been injured. Examples of loss of earnings include, but are not limited to:

  • Salary
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Tips
  • Business income
  • Party-time income
  • Freelance and gig work
  • Earnings as an independent contractor

The value of your loss of earnings claim is the actual amount you would have earned had you been able to work. For hourly and salary employees, it can be easier to calculate lost wages because there is a record of what they earned before the accident. We use statements from your employer and evidence of earnings before the accident to calculate lost wages.

However, if you earn bonuses, tips, commissions, and other income that fluctuates, it can be challenging to calculate how much you would have earned had it not been for your accident and injury. In these cases, we might work with financial experts who analyze the data to estimate the loss of earnings you experienced because of the accident. 

Likewise, estimating future lost wages can be challenging. A financial expert can use factors to calculate the future wages you would expect to receive based on factors such as your age, anticipated retirement age, skills, experience, career choice, and other relevant factors.

What Is Diminished Earning Capacity for an Augusta Personal Injury Case?

What Is Included in Loss of Earnings for an Augusta Personal Injury Case?

Earning capacity refers to your ability to earn ongoing income. It is different from lost wages because it analyzes how an impairment or disability impacts the amount of your earnings going forward. 

For example, had you not been injured, you would have expected to continue working for the same wages with periodic raises for the cost of living and job advancement. However, if you sustain an impairment, it could reduce the amount you can earn because the impairment restricts your ability to work. 

The difference between what you could have earned had you not been injured and what you can earn now, given your impairment, is the value of a diminished earning capacity claim. However, calculating this amount can be challenging. Our legal team works with expert witnesses, including economists, vocational experts, medical specialists, and financial professionals, to determine the value of diminished earning capacity claims.

Factors used to determine how much your claim is worth include:

  • The type and level of your impairment 
  • Your job or career
  • Your training, skills, education, and experience
  • The ability to transition to a new job to earn income
  • The outlook for your chosen career and estimated inflation rates
  • Your current age and anticipated retirement age

The factors in your case are unique to your situation. The value of your claim is based on the circumstances in your case. 

Does Georgia’s Contributory Fault Law Impact Loss of Earnings Claims?

Georgia uses a modified contributory fault standard to divide damages in a personal injury case. If a victim is 50% or more at fault for causing their injuries, they cannot receive compensation for their damages. Therefore, if a jury determines you are 55% at fault for a car crash, you do not receive any money for your damages.

However, if you are less than 50% to blame for the wreck, you can receive a portion of your damages based on your percentage of fault. Suppose the jury decides you were 10% to blame for the car crash. Instead of receiving 100% of the jury verdict for damages, you would receive 90% of the amount they award for damages.

Loss of earnings is included in a personal injury claim. Therefore, if you were partially to blame for causing your injury, you might not receive the full value of your loss of earnings damages.

What Is the Deadline To File a Loss of Earnings Claim in Georgia?

Georgia sets a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. Therefore, if you do not file a lawsuit before that time, you could lose the right to pursue a court claim for damages, including lost wages and earnings. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule. We strongly recommend discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your right to file a lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Augusta Personal Injury Lawyers 

You deserve to be compensated for all losses and damages after an accident or personal injury, including future damages. If you will be unable to earn the same income because of your injuries, we want to help you hold the at-fault party accountable for that loss. Contact our law offices for a free case evaluation with an experienced Augusta personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.