People injured by the negligence of others have the right to seek compensation for the losses they experience because of the accident. This includes economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are those losses they experience that have a direct financial impact, including loss of income and loss of earning capacity. It also includes property damage, medical expenses, and other losses that can be quantified.

Non-economic damages include pain, suffering, and other personal losses that are not easy to quantify. 

Your claim’s potential value includes all economic and non-economic damages you suffered and can prove. Here is what you need to know about proving your loss of income and loss of earning capacity damages.

What Is Loss of Income? 

According to Oklahoma law, economic damages are “any type of pecuniary harm.” This includes “all wages, salaries or other compensation lost as a result of a bodily injury that is the subject of a civil action.” 

Here is what a loss of income claim may include:

  • Lost wages – If an injury victim is an hourly employee, they can seek compensation for their lost wages by multiplying the number of hours they missed by their hourly rate.  
  • Lost salaries – If an injury victim is salaried, their lost income includes the salary they lost while recovering from their injuries. So, if they were out of work for two months, they can seek compensation for two months of lost salary.
  • Other compensation – Injury victims may lose other types of compensation, such as tips, overtime pay, bonuses, or commissions. If they were self-employed, they could pursue compensation for their lost self-employment income. They can also pursue compensation for benefits they had to lose, such as sick time, vacation pay, or PTO. They can also seek compensation for lost retirement fund contributions and fringe benefits. 

Generally, the accident victim can use check stubs, tax returns, letters from their employer, and other documentation to show the amount of compensation they lost because of their injuries. 

What Is Loss of Earning Potential?

In addition to the current loss of income an accident victim suffers, Oklahoma law also allows the victim to seek compensation for future loss of potential earnings. This includes the “loss of income, wages, or earning capacity and other pecuniary losses” the victim incurs after the date of judgment. 

Loss of earning capacity means that the accident victim has suffered a serious injury that prevents them from working. For example, the victim may suffer a catastrophic injury that leaves them with a permanent disability. 

Reduced earning capacity occurs when an accident victim suffers an injury that makes them have to change their line of work or move to a less demanding and lower-paying job. For example, the accident victim may suffer a brain injury that affects their ability to concentrate or remember, so they move to a less demanding job. 

Lost or reduced earning capacity is more difficult to quantify than lost income. This usually requires an expert to evaluate various factors to estimate your projected lifetime earnings if the accident had not occurred and compare them to your post-accident projected earnings. 

An expert may consider factors such as:

  • Your age and health before the accident
  • Whether your injuries are permanent
  • How long your injuries will incapacitate you
  • Your life expectancy
  • Whether you are able to work at all
  • How your injuries affect your ability to work
  • How many years you are/were expected to work before retirement 
  • Your profession and occupation
  • Your work history and history of promotions

An experienced accident lawyer can help you assemble the evidence you need to establish your lost earning capacity.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With a Claim for Loss of Income or Loss of Earning Potential

Whether you are dealing with a loss of income or reduced earning potential after an accident, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive all of the damages you are entitled to. 

An Experienced Oklahoma City Rear-End Crash Attorney Can Help You Pursue Compensation

If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you may have suffered serious injuries, including whiplash and other neck or spine injuries. An experienced rear-end collision attorney will guide you through the legal process and fight for you to recover compensation for all of your injuries. For more information, please contact an experienced Personal Injury lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers

We proudly serve Oklahoma County, OK and its surrounding areas:

Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers – OKC
1332 SW 89th St,
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
(405) 497-0480