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Earning Potential: What Does Personal Injury Earning Capacity Mean

Medical costs in the United States are notoriously high with an average visit to the ER costing about $2,200.00 with insurance. Add a sudden, severe injury on top of that. A personal injury victim could be looking at a tough financial mountain to climb.

Apart from the physical and financial stress, this type of sudden uncertainty can lead to unnecessary amounts of emotional stress as well. The change in income that results from a personal injury can be significant. Legal help and expert testimony can make all the difference for an individual dealing with this type of scenario.

In this vocational blog article, we’ll discuss what personal injury earning capacity is for an individual and how it relates to earning potential in general.

Earning Potential vs. Income

Loss of income differs slightly from loss of earning capacity. Loss of income is essentially the exact amount of income lost as a result of time taken off from work due to an injury. In the case of a personal injury victim, recovering compensation for lost wages is possible.

Loss of earning capacity, or loss of earning potential, is slightly different. Lost earning capacity is when a personal injury victim’s ability to earn income has been reduced or taken away entirely. To determine the overall impact this loss has on an individual can be difficult.


Take for example a delivery driver who delivers heavy boxes of groceries for work. When they are suddenly out of work due to an ankle injury because of an upturned crack in the sidewalk, the financial impact from the worker’s loss of income may correlate to days taken from sick leave or paid time off.

However, maybe that same delivery driver is out of work because a drunk driver hit their car. Now the driver has to have surgery. The loss of earning capacity is more difficult to pinpoint in this case. This is because the injury is more extensive and the future time spent in that job is not as certain.

Proving loss of earning capacity in this scenario would need to include testimony from expert witnesses, current wages, work-related experience, and more.

Items of Note

If someone happens to be a victim of an injury, proving a future amount of earned money could include anything from future raises or responsibilities, expected working years left, or potential promotions.

These various factors will help determine future compensation with respect to loss of earning capacity.

These all encompass the economic hardships that an individual can expect to suffer through the tenure of their working life. By taking into account all necessary factors to the case at hand, an individual’s personal injury rights are taken care of under the Tort Law umbrella.

Every Business Should Retain Vocational Experts

If your business or someone you know could benefit from help with issues surrounding  personal injury in the workplace, our Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. are available Monday through Friday to offer help. We offer comprehensive personal injury assessments to determine an individual’s ability to work and their future earning potential.

Please feel free to utilize our contact form here for more information.

If you want to speak to a vocational consultant, the vocational experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. can help. Contact us today to learn more about what’s involved in the process.

Our vocational experts are involved in personal injury, workers’ compensation, family law and can provide vocational expert witness testimony.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

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Olympia, WA 98501
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