Reduced Earning Capability After a Charleston Car Accident

Receiving injuries in a car accident can change your life forever. In addition to pain and trauma, car crashes can leave you with overwhelming financial consequences, including mountains of medical bills and lost wages due to missed time at work. Some people may even have accident-caused disabilities, such as traumatic brain injuries, that completely prevent them from returning to their former job. 

If you are facing reduced earning capacity due to an accident-related injury, you can claim compensation for the future income you will no longer be able to earn. The seasoned Charleston car accident attorneys at Murphy Crantford Meehan will fight for what you deserve. We will put our experience, skills, and resources to work for you so you can recover the income you would have made if the negligent party had never caused your injuries. We are committed to building a case that demonstrates the full extent of your losses, including the reduced earning capability after a car accident.

Call us today at (843) 960-3581 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.

What Is Reduced Earning Capability? 

Reduced earning capability (sometimes called lost earning capacity) is the reduction of a person’s ability to earn money due to an injury they have suffered. Lost earning capacity is usually the result of a severe injury that leads to a disability that causes the person to go into a different line of work. In some cases, they may be unable to work at all.

For example, a construction worker’s job requires them to lift heavy objects and operate manual tools throughout the day. If a person in this line of work suffers a significant shoulder injury in a car accident, they may be unable to return to construction work. This situation might qualify the individual for compensation for the money they would have earned throughout their work-life expectancy if they had not received their accident-related injury.

Because a calculation of lost earning capacity will likely consider several years of future earning potential, the value of your claim could be significant.

Lost Earning Capacity versus Lost Wages

People often must miss time at work due to injuries they receive in an accident. This lost work time might be due to medical events, such as a visit to the emergency room, a doctor’s appointment, or a surgery. Your physician may further restrict you from working for several days or weeks while your injuries heal. As a result, your recovery period might require you to use vacation time, sick leave, or paid time off. In such cases, you can claim compensation for lost wages and the benefits you used to get paid while you were off work. 

The claim you file for lost wages will depend on specific and identifiable losses you have already sustained. Lost earning capacity, on the other hand, is a projection of future losses. Determining reduced earning capability after a car accident involves ascertaining how the accident has affected your overall ability to earn a living from this point forward.

Types of Injuries That Affect Earning Capacity

Depending on the nature of your work, many types of injuries can affect your capacity to earn a living. For example, scarring of the hands might not have long-term effects on a truck driver’s income, but the same injuries might end a hand model’s career. 

Certain types of injuries, however, are more likely to have long-term consequences for most workers. These injuries include:

  • Spinal cord/nerve damage leading to paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Wrist injuries
  • Severed limbs
  • Third-degree burns
  • Facial fractures
  • Disfigurement

If you are unsure whether your injury may qualify you for compensation for reduced earning capability, contact us today, and we will review your case for free.

Why Reduced Earning Capability Is Difficult to Prove

In many cases, proving lost wages can be relatively straightforward. Your personal injury attorney will gather documents such as employment records and medical records to determine how many hours or days you have missed at work due to your injuries. The insurance company can clearly see your lost wages by examining these records.

Reduced earning capability can be difficult to prove. Establishing these losses requires making logical projections of your work ability and future potential to earn money. As with all losses, you will also need to demonstrate that the negligent party was directly responsible for the injury that reduced your earning capacity.

Calculating Reduced Earning Capability

Your lawyer can calculate your reduced earning capability by comparing your circumstances to those of similar cases in your jurisdiction. Your lawyer will have experience with strategies they could use to persuade the insurance company to compensate you appropriately.

However, if the insurance company rejects your claim, you may have to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. If you go to court, the most effective way to prove your loss of earning capacity is with the help of expert witnesses such as a forensic accountant. They can review your work history and employment records to make a reasonable calculation of your likely future earnings before and after the accident. They will also consider the transfer value of your job skills to determine whether you might be able to change professions successfully.

The expert might consider several factors to estimate your reduced earning capability, including:

  • Your profession
  • Your residence and work location
  • Your education and training
  • Your work history
  • Your skills, abilities, and talents
  • Your capacity or ability to learn a new trade
  • Current wage rates and market values
  • Your history of raises, promotions, and skill improvements

You can strengthen your claim for reduced earning capacity by providing your lawyer with your employment records and other documents that demonstrate your professional history and earning capacity.

Contact an Experienced Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Today

If your earning capability has suffered due to an accident-related injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your future losses. The seasoned Charleston car accident lawyers at Murphy Crantford Meehan are committed to working on every aspect of your claim to recover what you deserve. We will determine how much money you should seek, file all the necessary paperwork, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If necessary, we have the willingness and resources to take your claim to court.

Call us today at (843) 960-3581 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.

Schedule A free consultation 24/7

Contact us now

Call Us

(843) 376-4030

Awards and Accolades


Get in Touch!
Fill out the form