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Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

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Loss of Earnings/Diminished Earning Capacity

If someone causes you to be injured due to their negligence or intentional acts, you may be out of work while you recover from your injuries. Loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity are economic damages you can seek as part of a personal injury claim. You may also be entitled to compensation for other financial losses and non-economic damages.

What Is Included in Loss of Earnings in a Nevada Personal Injury Claim?

What Is Included in Loss of Earnings in a Nevada Personal Injury Claim?

Loss of earnings represents the money you would have earned if you had not been injured in an accident or other personal injury incident. In other words, what would your income have been during the time you were unable to work because of your injuries?

Loss of income is often referred to as lost wages in a personal injury claim. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Salary
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Freelance income
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Tips
  • Part-time income
  • Earnings from independent contract work
  • Gig work income

Loss of earnings also includes benefits and perks you would have received had you been working. For example, you may be able to seek compensation for paid time off, vacation time, and sick leave you used while you were out. It may also include your and your employer’s matching contributions to your retirement account.

How Do I Prove the Value of My Loss of Earnings in a Personal Injury Case?

Your loss of earnings equals the amount you would have earned had it not been for another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Calculating lost wages may be complicated depending on the type of income.

For example, freelance workers and independent contractors may have income that varies monthly. The same may be true for individuals who earn commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses. In these cases, your lawyer may use an average of the past six to 12 months to estimate loss of earnings for the period you were out of work.

Evidence used to prove loss of earnings includes W2s, 1099s, tax returns, and income statements. Your employer may also write a letter documenting your income.

You also need medical evidence proving that you could not work for the period you claim a loss of earnings. If your doctor states that you can work but you refuse to do so, you may not receive compensation for lost income. If you believe your doctor’s diagnosis is incorrect, you may need to seek a second opinion from another physician.

Recovering Compensation for Diminished Earning Capacity

Diminished earning capacity refers to the future loss of income you will incur because of a permanent impairment or disability. The value of your reduced earning potential claim depends on the facts of your case. 

Factors used to determine the extent of a decrease in earning capacity include:

  • The types of injuries you sustained and the extent of the impairments caused by your injuries
  • Your education, skills, and work experience
  • Whether you can perform sedentary work given the limitations of your impairment
  • Your current age and the age when you expect to retire
  • The outlook for your career
  • The expected job opportunities you would have been given

Calculating the value of diminished earning capacity is complicated. It involves highly technical equations and projections. Experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers work with economists, financial professionals, vocational therapists, and other expert witnesses to accurately estimate the value of future loss of income.

How Does Nevada’s Comparative Fault Law Impact Claims for Loss of Earnings and Diminished Earning Capacity?

Nevada uses a modified comparative negligence rule instead of the strict contributory fault standard for personal injury claims. The law does not bar someone from recovering compensation for damages unless they are more than 50% to blame for causing their injuries.

Under comparative negligence, your awarded compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault if you are less than 51% responsible. Therefore, if you are 10% to blame for causing a car accident, the judge reduces your court award by that amount.

Insurance adjusters may trick you into admitting fault or saying something that could be misinterpreted as admitting fault. Be careful when speaking with the insurer. Allowing your attorney to handle the insurance company can avoid these problems.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim for Loss of Earnings and Diminished Earning Capacity in Nevada?

Your claim for loss of earnings and diminished earning capacity is part of your personal injury case. Therefore, the time to file a lawsuit for these damages is generally two years from the injury date. However, exceptions to the statute of limitations could change that date.The best way to protect your rights is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury. If you have questions about a claim, call the De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers office at (702) 222-9999 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury attorneys serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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