Injured man in wheelchair with agent to claim disability compensation

Calculating “Lost Earning Capacity”

Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law Nov. 27, 2023

Texas is among the top states for workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses in the United States. According to the most recent statistics, private industry employers in Texas reported 178,900 total nonfatal injuries and illnesses statewide in 2021. Unfortunately, a work-related injury or occupational disease can make an employer unable to work temporarily or permanently. Thankfully, Texas laws allow the affected workers to seek lost income and diminished earning capacity, among other damages and benefits, to cover what they could have earned if they weren’t injured. 

Here at my firm, I’m dedicated to offering comprehensive guidance and vigorous representation to clients in their personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. As a seasoned Texas personal injury attorney, I can review all of the facts of your personal situation, determine the value of your claims, and help establish liability and lost earning capacity. Also, I will advocate for your best interests and attempt to recover the maximum possible financial compensation for your injuries and damages. My firm—Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law—proudly serves clients across Houston, Webster, Pasadena, Clear Lake, Alvin, and South Houston, Texas. 

Loss of Income vs. Lost Earning Capacity

Loss of income and lost earning capacity are economic damages that claimants can recover in their personal injury claims or lawsuits. Loss of income comprises the salary, wages, or unemployment benefits that an injured person can pursue due to their workplace injury, hospitalization, or being unable to while recovering. The loss of earnings is fairly calculated from the date the injury or incident occurred to the date the claimant returns to work. 

In contrast, lost earning capacity is the future wages or income that the victim would no longer be able to earn due to their temporary or permanent injury. Such injuries or medical conditions make the person incapable of working or getting a new job. For example, if the claimant (such as a machine operator) suffers a crushed arm, it may be impossible to return to their previous work following a long-term injury. Due to this, they’re within their rights to seek compensation for lost earning capacity. 

How Is Lost Earning Capacity Calculated?

Here are some factors that the judge may consider to determine a fair amount for lost earning capacity: 

  • profession or nature of employment 

  • level of education 

  • location 

  • age and life expectancy 

  • employment or work history 

  • work experience 

  • transferable job skills 

  • ability to move switch employment 

  • talents and abilities 

  • wage rates 

  • market value and trends in your industry. 

  • promotion history 

Generally, calculating lost earning capacity can be quite complex. Therefore, consulting with a highly-skilled personal injury attorney is imperative for proper guidance and to help determine a fair amount. 

How to Prove Lost Earning Capacity

Furthermore, in order to prove lost earning capacity in your claims, your legal counsel may need to: 

  • Work together with a qualified physician to provide substantial evidence and facts regarding your injuries, including medical records, treatment reports, and witness statements. 

  • Show the magnitude of your injuries and the long-term impact on your ability to work again and possible work performance. 

  • Use the existing market values and wage rate to calculate and prove your estimated future earnings. 

A dedicated lawyer can fight intelligently for your rights, seek to prove lost earning capacity, and help you recover your rightful financial compensation. 

Why You Should Work With an Attorney

Additionally, having skilled representation and legal guidance when filing your personal injury claims and pursuing diminished earning capacity is essential. The insurer may try to dispute your estimated amount for the loss of earning capacity. Also, they may try to undervalue or completely deny your insurance claims. This is why working with a skilled attorney is important. 

Your attorney can evaluate the magnitude of your injuries and gather factual evidence and documentation to establish the lost earning capacity. Also, your lawyer can help file your claims and continue fighting for your best interests. Above all, your attorney can handle all negotiations with the insurance provider and help you pursue fair compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other possible damages. 

Ask an Attorney for Help

If you have suffered a serious injury, illness, or work-related accident, contact me at Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a simple case assessment. I can walk you through the often complex procedures involved in filing claims and help you seek lost earning capacity and the maximum available financial compensation for your injuries. My firm proudly serves clients across Houston, Webster, Pasadena, Clear Lake, Friendswood, Santa Fe, Alvin, and South Houston, Texas. If you’re in the area, reach out today for support.