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An accident and injury can affect you in many ways, both physically and mentally. Depending on the circumstances you may be able to pursue compensation to cover certain costs associated with the accident. If you prove the negligence of the other party, you can sue them for property damage, medical costs, and present and future lost wages. For more information and to acquire experienced legal counsel, reach out to a skilled New York injury lawyer.

What is the Difference Between Lost Future Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity?

During a claim or lawsuit, the term “lost wages” encompasses several factors. It can include past and present loss of wages, loss of future wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Lost wages, both present and future, refers to the victim’s inability to go to work or perform their work duties. This inability results in a pause or termination of their employment. They are losing out on income that they would otherwise have earned if it weren’t for the accident and injury.

Loss of earning capacity is a different beast. Depending on the type of accident and the extent of the victim’s injuries they may now have a permanent disability like a physical or mental hinderance that prevents them from working at their previous ability. They may now be demoted or forced to pursue a job in another field where they will not make as much money.

If they can prove the negligence of the other party, a victim can sue for both loss of wages and loss of earning capacity.

Why is Calculating Lost Future Wages Complicated?

Imagine that a victim of a car accident suffered a broken arm and is unable to work and earn wages for four months. By the time the claim or lawsuit is resolved, they are back at work. When calculating their compensation it is easy to determine the amount of lost wages that occurred from the accident because the injury has already healed and the victim is back at work. The lost wages will be four months’ worth of their salary.

However, calculating future loss of wages can be more complex because it is impossible to accurately predict the future. If a victim is seriously injured a doctor can estimate when they will make a full recovery, but they could be wrong depending on a plethora of factors. Maybe other issues will develop over time such as additional complications or mental disorders that prevent work.

How Can a Lawyer Help My Case?

It is recommended that you hire a lawyer when dealing with any personal injury case. As discussed, calculating future wages can be complex but it is far from impossible. Your attorney will help you evaluate the details of your case to determine what information and evidence is relevant and can help your side. They will be able to identify and work with professionals who can offer testimony to estimate the length of time you will be unable to work at your full capacity and what your true future lost wages will be.