car accident attorney Kearns, Utah

How Do Car Accident Attorneys Establish Loss of Earning Capacity?

If a collision in Kearns, Utah, has left you with serious injuries that affect your ability to work, speaking with an experienced car accident attorney is in your best interests.

Being severely injured, you can expect to face a mounting pile of medical bills, and missing time at work means missing out on income. The party responsible should be held financially accountable for these accident-related losses – and if physical limitations or emotional trauma has temporarily or permanently affected your future earning power, you deserve compensation for that as well.

Car accident attorneys play an important role in the pursuit of justice, and given the complexities of a loss of earning capacity claim, working with a skilled legal professional is highly recommended. Here, we look at the challenges these types of claims can present.

Proving a Loss of Earning Capacity vs. Proving Lost Income

Compared to a loss of earning capacity claim, a lost income claim is relatively easy to prove. The injured party needs to present evidence that documents the time they’ve missed at work and the amount they would have earned. And if the individual took sick leave or used paid personal days to make ends meet after the car accident, the value is simply included in the calculation.

As any Kearns car accident attorney would likely agree, loss of earning capacity claims are difficult because they always involve some degree of speculation. Lost income requires a little number crunching, but diminished earning power is based on a projection.

In other words, calculating the future impact of someone’s injuries on their ability to earn an income is like taking an educated guess. Will the individual return to work at some point? Will they need to look for a different job? Or will they be unable to work at all? The range of possible outcomes makes proving a loss of earning capacity claim challenging, even for an experienced car accident attorney.

The Difficulty of Demonstrating Your Diminished Earning Capacity

Determining an appropriate amount of compensation for a loss of earning capacity isn’t a straightforward task. No car accident attorney can predict what will happen in the future, but that’s essentially what this type of claim requires. Consider what may happen as you move forward in life:

You can’t return to work yet – but you will be ready at some point.

With broken limbs, large wounds or injuries that require an extended hospital stay, you might eventually be able to once again perform your job duties. When that will happen is unknown, but until that point, you’ll sustain lost earnings. In this situation, if your claim reaches the trial phase, you may need a car accident attorney to get a fair amount in compensation.

You’re physically able to work – but you’ve suffered psychological trauma.

Just like physical injuries, emotional harm can prevent a person from functioning in the workplace. However, proving that a collision caused psychological consequences is a difficult task, and the extent you’ll eventually be able to return to work is the unknown factor. As people tend to be skeptical of these types of injuries, working with an attorney is wise.

You can’t return to your old job – but another job might be doable.

Certain types of injuries, like nerve damage, paralysis or the loss of a limb, can make jobs that involve manual labor impossible. And with neurological injuries, positions that require concentration, multi-tasking or memory may be out of the question. The unknowns here are what line of work might be practical for you and how switching jobs will affect your income.

Clearly, loss of earning capacity claims involve complex questions about the future. Answering them isn’t easy – and to prove the overall impact of your injuries on your earning power may require the expertise of a skilled car accident attorney.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Pursue Compensation

To calculate an appropriate amount of compensation for your loss of earning capacity, you’ll need to consider your past work history, job skills and any possible promotions or raises you might have received if you hadn’t been severely injured. Or, you can simply turn your case over to an experienced car accident attorney – and to be honest, that may be the better approach.

As we’ve mentioned, proving a claim of diminished earning power is rather difficult. Working with a car accident lawyer is to your benefit, as a skilled legal professional can review your circumstances, calculate how much your income decreased after the collision and assess your future earnings in light of today’s labor market. In addition, an attorney can:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation of your accident
  • Consult with expert witnesses to bolster your case
  • Handle the negotiations with the insurance company
  • Provide legal representation in the Utah courts
  • Offer crucial guidance and support from start to finish
  • Help you get the maximum possible in compensation

Cockayne Law, based in northern Utah, is ready to fight for every dollar you deserve. We’ve recovered millions for accident victims in Kearns and the greater Salt Lake County area, and our highly skilled team succeeds in obtaining compensation in nearly all of the cases we handle.

Turn to Cockayne Law, and we’ll put our expertise to work for you. For a free consultation to discuss lost income, loss of earning capacity and the other losses you’ve suffered with an accomplished car accident attorney, contact our office in Kearns, Utah, today.