What is lost earning capacity?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

When someone gets injured on the job, they may experience lost wages. Say that a worker falls and suffers a back injury. They get rushed to the hospital, where they spend a week getting treatment before going home for two months of rehab. Even if they can work again after that process has been completed, they’ve lost around two months’ worth of wages, which they may want to seek compensation for on top of their medical bills.

But it’s not just the immediate wages that someone should consider. They also need to think about their lost earning capacity, especially with significant injuries – such as a spinal cord injury. What does this mean?

Reduced ability to earn in the future

Lost earning capacity essentially means it will be more difficult for that person to earn the wages they expect in the future.

For example, say that the person works in the construction industry. They often have to climb ladders, dig trenches, use power tools and carry heavy materials.

But if they suffer a serious spinal cord injury, they may be physically unable to do all of those tasks. This means that they have to find a new career or a new form of income. They may not earn as much as they did previously. If they have to leave their career in construction and work a minimum wage job at a desk, they may feel that their workplace injury was responsible for this future loss of income – which can be considered when seeking compensation for the injury.

Naturally, this is a rather complex situation. If you find yourself in this position, be sure you understand all of your legal options.