Getting Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity
As part of your personal injury case, you are entitled to compensation for the costs, expenses, and losses you have incurred as a result of your injury, including:
- lost wages for missed work;
- medical expenses for past and ongoing treatment;
- temporary and future impairment or disability;
- expenses incidental to treatment;
- mental and physical pain and suffering;
- loss of consortium; and
- loss of use.
Your injuries may also be severe enough to affect your ability to earn a living in the near or long term. Damages due to your loss of future earning capacity are of critical importance to your future and deserve special attention in the course of pursuing your personal injury claim.
Authority for Damages for Loss of Earning Capacity
Under Florida law, courts recognize a claim for damages for the injured party’s loss of earning capacity over their working life as a result of injury. It is important to note that your recoverable damages will be based on your reasonable capacity to earn over your working life, taking into consideration expected disruptions and evolutions you may have otherwise experienced in your career.
Proving Your Losses
You bear the burden of proving an impairment to your capacity to earn because of your injury. As part of your case you have to demonstrate with certainty that you have been injured and that the injury is directly related to the diminished capacity to earn a living. To do this you must present evidence that will enable a jury to reasonably calculate your lost earning capacity. The amount of damages you receive will be based on your age, general health, occupation, and your earnings history before and after the time you were injured. Another important consideration in presenting your case is whether your claim is calculated on an after-tax basis. Earnings you would have received by virtue of employment are subject to federal income tax; however, since compensatory damages awarded as part of a personal injury claim are generally not subject to federal income tax, whether your award is calculated on an after-tax basis will be point of contention in your case that you will have to address. Whether your claim arises under federal or Florida law will also be a factor in determining whether your award is determined on a pre-tax or after-tax basis.
A successful presentation of your case will give a jury the opportunity to award you compensation in the amount your earning power was diminished, after taking into account the relevant factors outlined above and if there are any other occupation opportunities you could reasonably pursue. Since your earnings would have otherwise occurred over the course of your life, any amount determined by a jury as compensation for your loss of earning capacity will be reduced to a present value in today’s dollars.
Contact Us For Help
Because accidents involving claims for loss of earning capacity can be complicated and require extensive investigation and research as to the many factors necessary to establish your damages, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for your rights. The skilled professionals at the Tallahassee law firm of Barrett, Fasig & Brooks have many years of experience fighting for injured clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in Florida, call us today to set up your free initial consultation at (866) 346-4186 or (850) 224-3310.