A car accident injury can seriously upend your life. Hopefully, your doctors have told you that you can make a full recovery, but some injuries can inflict lifelong health issues, including a permanent disability. This may factor into your personal injury case as you try to recover damages, which may include your lost earning capacity.
You might pursue lost wages because you are currently unable to work. However, your lost earning capacity is a different concept and may be relevant to your case if your injury proves serious enough.
Defining lost earning capacity
If you can completely recover from your injuries, you may be able to go back to work and resume your old duties. Your injury has only interrupted your current work routine but has not ended it or damaged your potential for job advancement. However, if your injury disables you in some way, you might not be able to return to work or find a job with comparable pay. Because of your circumstances, your injury has diminished your ability to earn a living.
Factors that contribute to earning capacity
In the event you have limited job options due to your physical situation, seeking damages due to your lost earning capacity may be an option. According to FindLaw, you will have to prove that your injury has harmed your ability to earn a living for a judge to decide whether to award you damages on this basis.
It is likely a judge will take many of your personal characteristics into consideration when determining your damages. They include your age, your current health and life expectancy, your level of skill and experience, your current occupation, and whatever talents or training you have that could prove useful at work.
Consult carefully with your doctors
You want to get all the information you can about your health shortly after an injury. The party responsible for your injury may try to get you to sign a release before you know the full extent of your injuries. Make sure you get the best outlook possible from your doctor so you know whether going back to work is a strong possibility or if you may suffer disabilities for the rest of your life.