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Can you explain lost wages and loss of future earning capacity?


When you are injured in a car wreck you might suffer many types of harm. You may be physically injured and suffer emotional distress. These harms, in turn, can lead to financial losses, too. For example, you might incur medical expenses or, in fatal car accidents, surviving family members might have unexpected funeral costs. Amongst these economic losses are lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Hopefully this post will clarify each of them.

Lost wages are defined as the amount of money an injured individual would have earned through work from the time of the car crash to the time of recovery. Therefore, if you were to be paid $3,000 a month, but were unable to work for a 12 month period between the time of your accident and a lawsuit judgment, then you may be entitled to $36,000 in lost wages. Even those who are unemployed at the time of an accident may be able to recover lost wages compensation if they can prove what they might have earned if they were not injured.

Loss of future earning capacity, on the other hand, occurs when a car accident victim loses his or her ability to earn money in the future. In other words, this type of compensation is forward looking while lost wages compensation is backwards looking. The actual amount of recoverable compensation for lost earning capacity is dependent upon several factors, including a victim's age, occupation, skill, experience, and life expectancy, amongst others.

Those who are harmed by a negligent driver should do everything in their power to ensure they recover the maximum compensation allowable by law. By speaking with an experienced North Carolina attorney, victims put themselves on the right track to recover the money and closure they need to move on with life.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed on Oct. 5, 2014

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