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Lost Income and Reduced Earning Capacity in an Illinois Personal Injury Claim

Posted on in Personal Injury

DuPage County personal injury lawyerWhen we think about someone being hurt in a car crash, fall accident, dog attack, or another injurious event, our first thoughts are often on the physical injuries the individual sustained. The physical pain and discomfort caused by an injury are certainly valid concerns, but they are not the only negative consequences of a serious injury. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that an injury can also have profound effects on a victim's ability to work and earn an income.

In Illinois, lost income and reduced earning capacity are both considered "economic damages" that can be recovered in a personal injury claim.

What is the Difference Between Lost Income and Reduced Earning Capacity?

The terms "lost income" and "reduced earning capacity" are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different types of economic damages.

"Lost income" encompasses all the wages that an injury victim would have earned between the time of the accident and the conclusion of their case, had they not been injured. This may include losses caused by missed work days, lost bonuses or commissions, and lost opportunities for overtime pay. Someone injured in an accident may be entitled to compensation for lost income if he or she had to miss work or use paid time off while recovering from the injuries. Compensation may be available for past lost income as well as future lost income. For example, if an injured person must attend ongoing physical therapy appointments that force him or her to miss work, compensation for the future missed work days may also be included in a personal injury settlement.

"Reduced earning capacity," on the other hand, is a measure of the person's ability to earn an income in the future. This can be due to a number of factors, including permanent physical disabilities, emotional trauma, and psychological damage. For example, someone who performs manual labor who is injured in a car accident may suffer a back injury that prevents him or her from ever returning to work in the same capacity. In this case, the individual would be able to seek compensation for the difference between his or her pre-accident earnings and future earnings. Similarly, a traumatic brain injury can reduce a person's ability to focus or solve problems, reducing his or her ability to perform certain job tasks.

Contact a DuPage County Personal Injury Lawyer

At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we understand the financial burden that an injury can place on an individual and his or her family. Our knowledgeable Wheaton personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you need to cover your past and future lost income as well as any reductions to your earning capacity. Call us today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation.

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