What is Impairment of Earning Capacity in an NYC Personal Injury Case?

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It was no Willy Wonka story.

Earlier this week, a chocolate factory exploded. After the explosion, one woman sustained serious injuries such as cervical, lumbar, hip, and leg injuries. When she filed her case, she alleged she suffered a significant wage loss and impairment to her earning capacity or potential

Such claims are common in severe personal injury accidents.

When you’re injured in an accident, you already know you’re entitled to compensation for your lost wages. 

Yet what happens when the long-term effects of your injuries mean you lose your income for life? 

When that happens, your lawyer will work on adding an impairment of earnings claim to your overall settlement. 

How Impairment of Earning Capacity is Determined 

Impairment of earning capacity measures your injuries’ impact on your ability to earn money in the future. It takes several factors into account: 

  • The nature and severity of your injuries
  • Your occupation
  • Your earning history
  • Any other factors which impact your ability to earn a living

You do not have to be completely unable to work to make an impairment of earning capacity claim. Rather, your lawyer can make a case for compensation if you can no longer work in the same capacity as before the accident or if you have to work fewer hours or for lower pay. 

How We Prove Impairment of Earning Capacity

We usually need to work closely with expert witnesses to make your case. It’s impossible to predict the future, and we have to make many guesses about what your future earning capacity would have looked like but for the accident. 

In addition, you have to be aware that the standard of proof is not the amount of money that you probably would have earned, but rather, what amount would serve as reasonable compensation for the loss of the opportunity and the ability to work in a chosen field. 

The defense will make their own guesses, and their projections will usually be less favorable than ours. In most cases, both sides will meet somewhere in the middle after several rounds of intense negotiation. 

In about 8% of cases, we’ll have to bring those witnesses up in front of the court, along with evidence of your past career trajectory. 

Injured? Get Help

Impairment of earning capacity claims helps demonstrate just how complex the average personal injury case can become. 

Work closely with a lawyer with negotiation and litigation skills to help you maximize your personal injury settlement. Contact RLF to schedule your free case evaluation today. 

See also: 

What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in NYC? 

Why Does it Take So Long to Settle a NYC Personal Injury Case? 

How are Pain and Suffering Calculated in NYC?


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