On Your Side After An Injury

Lost wages vs. lost earning potential or capacity

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you get injured in an accident, such as a car accident or a workplace accident, you may lose wages. For instance, perhaps you got injured in a car accident on your way to work. You’re not going to be able to clock in for at least that day – and potentially for much longer if you need to take time off of work to recover. Because you’re not being paid as a result of the accident, the other driver may be liable to cover those costs.

But there’s another area to consider beyond lost wages, which is your lost earning capacity or your lost earning potential. In some situations, this could be even more valuable than lost wages, so make sure you don’t overlook it.

When does it apply?

Lost earning potential refers to a situation in which your injury will lower the amount of money you’ll make in the future. Perhaps you’ve been so injured so severely that you are now disabled and you can no longer work. You’re not just missing out on wages from the day of the accident, but on all of the wages that you would’ve made in the rest of your career – which could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Even if you are still able to work, you may have to change careers. For instance, maybe your injuries derailed a high-earning executive career, but you were still able to find an hourly wage job close to your house. But what is the reduction in wages? If you would have earned $100,000 per year at one job and you only make $30,000 a year at the other, you’re losing money annually due to your injuries.

As you can see, a single injury can change your entire financial future, and you must know what legal options you have.