Lost Wages And Reduced Earning Capacity in California Personal Injury Claims

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer to Recover Lost Wages And Earning Capacity


When you get into an accident, you might have to go to the hospital or undergo treatment that won't allow you to come to work. This means you might lose some income as a result of someone else's negligence. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in California to seek compensation for income and other economic and non-economic losses.


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What Qualifies As a "Loss Of Income"?


The term "loss of income" is used in personal injury claims to describe the loss of wages or unemployment benefits that an individual suffers due to the damage that is the basis of their claim.

Loss of income refers to the individual's loss of monetary income due to the defendant's harm. Lost wages, loss of earnings, and lost earnings are all terms that can be used to describe a loss of income.

Income loss might also include:

  1. Wages earned at work

  2. From sales commissions

  3. Bonuses

A plaintiff's pre-existing medical condition that was not caused by the defendant's acts cannot be blamed for the loss of income. Furthermore, if the plaintiff sues for lost wages, they must prove the amount of their lost wages with reasonable confidence.

Suppose the defendant is determined to be liable for the plaintiff's injuries and resultant loss of income. In that case, the court may order the defendant to compensate the plaintiff as part of the damage award decision.

To be recovered, the plaintiff's income does not have to be lost entirely at once. But, on the other hand, the plaintiff would have to prove that the injury was to blame for those missed days at work.


For example, the plaintiff could argue that they had to skip work on several occasions owing to other concerns, such as:

  1. Appointments with doctors

  2. Physical therapy

  3. A doctor's prescription

  4. Surgery


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What Qualifies As Lost Earning Capacity?

The term "lost earning capacity" refers to reducing a person's ability to earn money. You and your California Personal Injury Lawyer can consider the following:

  1. Future earnings

  2. Future earning capacity is lost or reduced

It's crucial to distinguish between a loss of revenue and a loss of earning capacity. Which can be differentiated as follows:

  • The term "loss of income" refers to a person's previous wages that have been lost due to the accident.

  • On the other hand, lost earning capability relates to money that has yet to be earned in the future.

The process of determining lost earning potential is complicated and involves the consideration of the following factors:

  1. Examining the plaintiff's work history, which may include:

  2. Skills

  3. Abilities

  4. Experience in the workplace

  5. Hiring a medical expert as a witness to demonstrate the severity of the injury and how it may influence the individual's future work performance and capacity.

  6. Using current market prices and salary rates to calculate the plaintiff's amount of future income would have lost.

The precise amount of a person's lost earning capacity varies by region. Again, this is because different places will have varying living standards and wage rates.


What's the Difference Between Loss of Earning Capacity and Loss of Income?

As previously stated, loss of income relates to income obtained in the past, whereas lost earning capability refers to income acquired in the future but not yet achieved. Thus, in general, decreased earning ability is more difficult to establish than a loss of income.


This is partly because assessing lost earning capacity necessitates projecting the plaintiff's ability to work in the future. Thus, it's tough to make an exact determination in this situation.


In addition, the court enforcing the rule may need to take into account other facts. Future promotions, raises, and improvement in ability or skill that would increase the individual's income are examples of these considerations.

Income loss is pretty easy to verify. This is because calculating the amount is as simple as looking at the plaintiff's attendance record and pay stubs. In addition, the court considers historical events that are accurately represented in the individual's employment records when determining loss of income.

Speak with a California Personal Injury Lawyer to help you gather and document evidence of your expenses.

What Qualifies As Future Loss Of Earnings?

Future loss of earnings, often known as future loss of wages, is compensation paid in a personal injury case. These damages may be given in circumstances when the plaintiff's ability to earn a living has been permanently harmed. Future loss of earnings is also known as loss of future earning capacity or impairment of earning power.

The plaintiff does not have to suffer an actual loss of earnings or wages under California Personal Injury Law. An award for lost future wages is based on the individual's earning potential, even if they never use it.

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How Is Earnings Loss Calculated?

Future earnings loss is not computed using the individual's actual earnings, either before or after the injury. These damages are instead assessed based on the individual's ability to generate money.

The court calculates the individual's earning capacity previous to their injury and compares it to the injury-induced reduction in earning capacity. The gap between the individual's potential earning power and what they earned earlier will be used to calculate damages for loss of earning capacity.

The future loss of earnings damages is based on the fact that the damage has severely harmed the individual's ability to earn pay in the future. As a result, even if they were unemployed before or at the time of their accident, the court will still be able to award damages for future lost wages.


Furthermore, the plaintiff's claim for future loss of earnings will not be barred or reduced since they were not wholly handicapped due to the accident. However, if the individual contributed in any manner to their own injuries, their award might be reduced or perhaps prohibited entirely.

A future loss of wages award can be quite effective because it compensates the plaintiff for their damages for their years working or earning.


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