Serious injuries caused by a reckless driver in a car accident can be very expensive. Not only could you have to undergo extensive medical treatment such as surgery and physical therapy, but you may also have to take unpaid leave from your job while you recover — if your job offers that benefit. Otherwise, you may have to quit while you are unable to work. Either way, you will be losing income that you and your family depend on.
These are examples of damages you may experience before filing a personal injury lawsuit related to a motor vehicle accident. Another form of damages considers the financial harm you expect your injuries to cause going into the future. Your ability to work could be impacted for the next few years or the rest of your life. Your lost future earning capacity should be the responsibility of the bad driver who damaged it, and the law recognizes that.
Figuring out your lost earning capacity
In Utah civil law, lost earning capacity refers to your lost potential to earn an income. In other words, how much you potentially could have made in the future if not for the injuries the negligent driver caused you in your crash. When determining your lost earning capacity, the law tells us to consider:
- Your actual earnings
- Your work before the accident, and afterward
- What you were capable of earning had you not been injured
- Any other facts that relate to your employment
Things like your age, education, job performance prior to the accident, and the job market in your area could all be factors. It is up to your personal injury lawyer to show that you had the highest possible future earning capacity, given the evidence.