When pursuing a personal injury claim in Virginia, lost income and reduced earning capacity can be crucial components of the damages sought by the injured party. Personal injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work and earn a living, leading to financial hardships and future uncertainties. The following is a brief overview of the concepts of lost income and reduced earning capacity in a personal injury claim. For more detailed information about your particular circumstances, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to speak with one of our seasoned Virginia personal injury lawyers.
Lost income refers to the wages or earnings that an individual is unable to earn due to their injury. This can include both current and future lost income. Current lost income encompasses the wages or earnings that the injured person has already missed out on during their recovery period. It may also include any sick leave, vacation time, or other benefits that were utilized during this period.
Future lost income accounts for the potential earnings that the injured person will be unable to earn as a result of their injury. This is particularly relevant if the injury has long-term or permanent effects that hinder the person’s ability to return to their previous occupation or earn a comparable income. Calculating future lost income requires consideration of factors such as the individual’s age, occupation, earning history, and potential career advancements.
Reduced Earning Capacity
Reduced earning capacity refers to the long-term impact of the injury on an individual’s ability to earn income at the same level as they did before the accident. It recognizes that the injury may limit their capacity to perform certain job functions or engage in certain occupations, leading to reduced earning potential over their lifetime.
To establish reduced earning capacity, a personal injury attorney will demonstrate that the client’s injury has resulted in a permanent or long-term impairment that affects their ability to work and earn income. This may involve medical evidence, vocational assessments, and expert testimony to determine the extent of the limitations and the impact on their future earning capacity.
Calculating Lost Income and Reduced Earning Capacity
Determining the precise amount of lost income and reduced earning capacity can be complex. Various factors are considered, including the injured person’s pre-accident income, employment history, education, skills, and the impact of the injury on their ability to work. Economic experts and vocational specialists may be consulted to provide a detailed analysis of the potential financial losses.
In some cases, the injured party may need vocational rehabilitation, retraining, or assistance in transitioning to a different occupation that accommodates their limitations. These costs can also be factored into the calculation of reduced earning capacity.
It’s important to note that each personal injury case is unique, and the calculation of lost income and reduced earning capacity can vary based on specific circumstances. Working with an experienced Norfolk personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp is essential to accurately assess and present these damages in a legal claim. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out what legal options you may have.
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For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.