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What is Lost Earnings Capacity in California?

Lost earnings are economic as opposed to non-economic damages. They’re easily calculated to a reasonable degree of certainty by a judge or jury. Lost earning capacity contemplates income derived from future work that an injury victim isn’t capable of performing. If you can’t perform your job as a result of your injuries or a resulting disability, you may be able to make a claim for the earnings that you’ll be losing in the future.

In any California personal injury case, lost earnings might be a component of a victim’s claim for damages.

If you or a loved one has lost earnings capacity due to an injury, contact us today for a free consultation and we will explain your rights to you.

Types of Earnings That Can be Claimed in California

Lost earning capacity doesn’t only involve a salary. Additional items like future raises, promotions, retirement benefits and perquisites can be considered. Of course, all of these earnings must be weighed against the claimant’s life expectancy immediately before the accident and injury. 

An Example of Lost Earning Capacity

A young PAC 10 football player was embarking on a promising career in the NFL, but he suffered severe leg fractures when a dump truck carrying a load of asphalt crashed into his vehicle. Now, he can only coach high school football. That individual would also have a viable lost earning capacity claim.

CACI 3903D

A determination of the value of a claim for lost earning capacity is controlled by CACI 3903D which requires a reasonable amount of certainty in calculating it. The amount that the claimant would reasonably have expected to have earned without the injury must be compared against the amount he or she would still earn with the injury. It isn’t necessary that the claimant have a work history. A lost earning capacity claim can be made even if a claimant is just a student. The career choices that the claimant would have had a reasonable probability of achieving are allowed to be considered.

The Evidence Needed to Prove Lost Earning Capacity

A person need not completely lose the ability to work to make a viable claim for lost earning capacity. Medical, accounting or economic experts might be pivotal in providing the evidence necessary to prevail on such a claim. Evidence of any earnings before the accident might also be helpful. This might be particularly important in the case of that NFL rookie. 

Contact a California Personal Injuy Lawyer Today

The objective in any lost earning capacity claim is to place a value on what an injury victim previously earned. It’s separate and distinct from wage loss. If your capacity to earn has been temporarily impaired or permanently diminished as a result of an accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else anywhere in California, contact us at Maison Law for a consultation with a California personal injury lawyer at no cost whatsoever. Not only will we discuss lost earning capacity with you, but we’ll also discuss any other claims that you might have involving damages.

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