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What Is the Difference Between Lost Income and Loss of Earning Capacity?

August 14th, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in spinal cord injury on Monday, August 14, 2017.

A serious injury caused by a medical provider’s negligence can have lifelong consequences for both you and your loved ones. The financial burden of treating and living with a catastrophic injury is more than most people make in their lifetime. Although no amount of compensation can undo the emotional trauma of such an injury, you may be able to regain your financial footing by filing a personal injury claim.


According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the estimated healthcare costs and living expenses associated with high tetraplegia total more than $2,500,000 for individuals who sustain the injury at age 50. The lifetime cost exceeds $4,700,000 for individuals who are paralyzed at age 25. These estimates do not include indirect costs like lost income and loss of earning capacity.

If you or a member of your family sustained catastrophic injuries due to medical malpractice, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Jackson.

What Is the Difference Between Lost Income and Loss of Earning Capacity?

If you sustain injuries as the direct result of someone else’s negligence and you are forced to miss work because of said injuries, you can include lost income in the settlement amount. Lost income refers to wages that you would have earned had you not missed work because of the injuries.

If you miss several weeks of work immediately following the incident because you are hospitalized, those weeks would count toward your lost income. For less severe injuries, lost income can also include work that you miss sporadically in order to attend physical therapy sessions or follow-up doctor’s appointments.

Loss of earning capacity, on the other hand, refers to your inability to earn the same income you were earning before the incident because of the extent of the injuries you sustained. Often called “future loss of earnings” or “impairment of earning power,” loss of earning capacity damages are determined using a few different calculations that take several factors into account. These calculations typically involve:

Reviewing the plaintiff’s work history, skills, and applicable experience;

Consulting with an expert healthcare provider to determine how the injuries sustained will inhibit future abilities; and

Referring to current market conditions and average wages in order to determine how much potential income may be lost.

Proving and calculating loss of earning capacity is much more challenging than determining lost wages, but it can make up a significant portion of your personal injury settlement. If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury and you want to ensure your settlement includes all possible damages, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm.

David A. Bowling will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a Jackson spinal cord injury attorney. You can learn more about personal injury claims in Mississippi by visiting the USAttorneys website

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