If you are injured because someone else is careless and does not share the road safely, you may be able to seek compensation from them. The Law Office of Doug Goyen in Dallas can assist you in fighting to maximize your recovery. If you need to speak to a Dallas accident lost income attorney, we can help.
A large percentage of auto accidents result in lost income. A person is injured, unable to work, and thus loses time and pay from that work. This is just one of many reasons why people are entitled to compensation after being injured in an accident. For over 23 years, the Law Office of Doug Goyen has handled personal injury cases. We will begin working on your case right away, providing expertise and strong representation. Call us at (972) 599 4100 for a free case review.
Lost Income from Accidents = Loss of Earnings and Loss of Earning Capacity
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, you may have lost income or earning capacity. They are, however, not the same thing. Income lost is actual income lost. The amount you could have earned if you had not been injured is referred to as lost earning capacity. It may appear subtle, but it is distinct. Because lost income is encapsulated within lost earning capacity, the safe route is to always claim lost earning capacity – just to make sure you don’t limit your claim by claiming the wrong type of damage.
Lost Income Law in Texas:
The plaintiff should always consider presenting this as “lost earning capacity.” Loss of earnings typically covers only “past” losses up to the date of trial, whereas loss of earning capacity covers both the past and future losses. A loss of earning capacity must be the result of a physical injury that impairs their earning capacity. A jury will decide on future earning capacity awards.
In the event of a loss of earning capacity, the following factors are taken into account: 1) endurance; 2) weakness and degenerative injury as a result of the injury; 3) ability to work with pain; and 4) efficiency.
Even if a plaintiff has not suffered a direct loss, he may still recover loss of earning capacity in the following circumstances:
1) An employer continues to pay him despite the fact that he is not working (the collateral source rule would normally keep this information hidden anyway);
2) If the plaintiff was a student or housewife who did not work but could have if the injury had not prevented them from finding work if they had wanted to, they may be able to recover under loss of earning capacity.
3) If they continued to work despite the injury, they may be able to recover for lost earning capacity.
4) Even if they earned more than before, they can still file a claim for loss of earning capacity.
5) Where the plaintiff could have taken a higher-paying job but was unable to do so due to the injury, he can recover loss of earning capacity.
6) In order to recover for loss of earning capacity, there must be proof that the plaintiff could work in some capacity before the injury, but that the injury impaired this ability in some way.
A minor’s claim for loss of earning capacity must be made by the minor’s parent.
In determining the loss of earning capacity, all factors are considered.
Loss of earning capacity is a claim for the ability to earn money rather than actual past lost income. However, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving how to calculate their loss of earning capacity. This is sometimes made easier by comparing earnings before and after the injury.
Proof Required in Texas Cases:
Actual lost earnings are sufficient evidence. The amount of lost work time, regardless of direct economic loss, is sufficient evidence. Proof of efficiency, consistency, duration, and ability to return to work due to injury are all examples of lost earning capacity. Despite the fact that he was not working, a 7-year-old boy with a brain injury was awarded loss of earning capacity. Recovery is not hampered by one’s citizenship or immigration status. If there is another way to calculate the loss of earning capacity, past earnings are not required to be shown (see 7 year old above). On the loss of earning capacity, an economist’s opinion is admissible.
Proving Lost Earning Capacity with Self Employment:
Methods of proof for self-employed individuals include comparing the amount of money he would have made if he had worked for another company doing the same work instead of for himself. Comparison of business returns and financials before and after. Profits were lost due to the inability to continue working normally. The cost of hiring someone to do the Plaintiff’s work.
You must demonstrate the value of the self-employed worker’s services with some degree of certainty that is susceptible (which varies by the case).
Cases where loss of earning capacity was not permitted: Plaintiff was receiving a draw from his business (but did not testify about any type of loss). Plaintiff turned down nine construction jobs but provided no evidence as to what the profits on those jobs were supposed to be. The retired person testified that he “might” work again in the future, but he never stated that he was looking for work before or during the injury period, or that he had any plans to work during that time.
Evidence Needed for Lost Earning Capacity:
Jobs held in the past and the amount earned; tax records; education and training; fringe benefits; and reasonable opportunities for advancement and promotion are all examples of evidence of loss of earning capacity.
How the Collateral Source Rule is Considered:
The collateral source rule prohibits mentioning payments from welfare, Social Security, workers’ compensation, and other similar programs. The jury is not permitted to consider whether the amount awarded is taxable or not. (Of course, by law, the court reduces the award to 80% – ostensibly to account for the tax issue.) Experts (economists) may testify about lost earning capacity based on hearsay evidence.
Those who have lost income as a result of an accident deserve to be compensated for their losses. For a free phone consultation and strategy session, call (972) 599 4100 to speak to our Dallas car crash attorney about your lost income situation from your accident. A summary of your case, identification of the legal issues involved in your case, and identification of which legal issues are most important to maximize recovery in your case are all part of the strategy session. We will email you a copy of the strategy session for your records. You can contact our Dallas accident lost income attorney on our website contact form as well.
Related Damages Pages:
- Bystander Damages in Accidents
- Disfigurement from an Accident
- Loss of Body Part or Mental Function from Accidents
- Loss of Consortium from Accident Injuries
- Loss of Inheritance in Negligence Cases
- Loss of Services from Accidents
- Lost Income from Accidents
- Medical Bills from Accidents
- Mental Anguish Personal Injury
- Pain and Suffering Personal Injury
- Physical Impairment from Accidents
Related Injuries in Accidents Pages: