Loss of Earnings Diminished Earning Capacity

Personal injuries can have wide-ranging impacts on your physical and emotional well-being.

When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may also see serious financial repercussions. One major example of these is loss of earnings or diminished earning capacity. 

A Harrisburg personal injury lawyer can fight for you or a loved one to recover compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity after an accident.

What are Lost Earnings in Harrisburg, PA?

What are Lost Earnings in Harrisburg, PA?

Lost earnings, or lost wages, refer to income and other benefits you may lose because of your injury. It is not uncommon for injuries to cause you to miss work so you can attend doctor appointments or recover at home. Lost wage claims allow you to pursue compensation for the wages, salary, overtime pay, bonuses, and other benefits that would have been earned. 

Lost wage claims are available for all workers, including hourly, salaried, and self-employed personal injury victims, who lost wages due to an accident.

What are Diminished Earning Capacity Claims in Harrisburg, PA?

Lost wage claims focus on your present lost income. Diminished earning capacity claims look to the future. They award compensation when injuries impact your ability to earn income in the future. For example, serious or permanent injuries may impact your ability to return to work in the same capacity as you did before, if at all. 

Factors such as your age, occupation, and workplace skills are considered when determining your future earning capacity. The severity and permanency of injuries are also factored heavily into the value of any compensation you may be awarded. Catastrophic injuries, for example, are generally associated with more compensation for lost wages and diminished earnings.

Calculating and Proving Lost Wage and Diminished Earning Capacity Claims in Harrisburg, PA

Calculating lost wages is typically a straightforward process. You and your lawyer will gather evidence of your current wage, salary, or other benefits. You will then show what you would have earned had you not been forced to miss work due to any injury. 

The documentation you may use to substantiate your claim includes copies of:

  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • W-2 and other tax forms
  • Tax returns
  • Written employment verifications from employers

Calculating diminished earnings is more complex. These claims require predicting what you may have earned in the future. This means they are subjective. For this reason, diminished earning claims often require lawyers to retain expert witnesses who can testify about the impact of your injuries on your wages. 

They will take into account many different factors, including:

  • Your life expectancy
  • Your current wage, salary or benefits
  • Your career prospects before the injury
  • Current and future industry trends
  • Inflation rates
  • Accommodations for your job that may be available

To prove diminished earning capacity, it is not enough to simply show you missed out on some money. You will need to prove the extent of your loss using experts who can provide information about your ability to secure and maintain employment. Medical experts may be used to testify about how an injury affects your ability to work, while economists and vocational experts will testify about how these impacts translate into lost income.

How Insurance Companies Fight Loss of Earnings/ Diminished Earning Capacity Claims

Insurance companies are often skeptical of lost wages and diminished earning claims. Insurance adjusters, who investigate and value your losses after an accident for the insurance company, may use several tactics to challenge your claim. If you are not careful, these may even minimize your final compensation. 

Common tactics include:

  • Questioning the severity of your injury: Insurers may argue your injury is not as severe as you claim or does not impact your ability to work.
  • Disputing the connection between your injury and lost wages: Insurers may argue that other factors, such as pre-existing conditions or poor job performance, actually explain your reduced earning capacity.
  • Contesting calculations: Diminished earning claims are subjective. Insurers will have experts who may challenge the value of your lost wages or diminished earning capacity and propose their own calculations.
  • Offering low settlements: Insurance companies may make settlement offers that are far less than what you may receive through negotiations or trials.

Accurately calculating these damages alone can be difficult, especially when experts are involved. Individuals must understand these tactics so they are not taken advantage of during the claims process. A Harrisburg personal injury lawyer can help you value your lost wages or diminished earning capacity and negotiate fair settlements with insurance companies. S

If You Have Been Injured, Consult With a Harrisburg Personal Injury Lawyer

Loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity claims are common in personal injury cases. The compensation you may be awarded for these losses can be significant and vital for your economic recovery after an accident. For this reason, contact a Harrisburg personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. 

A lawyer at Marzzacco Niven & Associates can evaluate your case and assist with accurately calculating and proving your wage claims at 717-231-1640. We can also retain expert witnesses, including doctors, economists, and vocational experts, to substantiate your damages.