Proving Lost Income And Lost Earning Capacity In The Oregon Injury Claim

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another person, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim. While most people understand that they can recover compensation for their medical expenses in an Oregon personal injury case, they may not realize that they can also recover compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity. Proving this type of loss can be difficult, but there are steps that victims can take to ensure they recover maximum compensation.

Lost income

What kind of lost wages count in an Oregon personal injury claim?

When someone is injured due to the negligence of another person, there is always a chance that their injury could cause them a temporary or permanent disability. A disability can significantly impact an injury victim’s ability to wor, and this can lead the various types of lost wages for victims in an Oregon personal injury case:

  • Lost wages and benefits the victim incurs if they are not able to work while they recover.
  • Lost earning capacity if a victim has to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours due to their injuries.
  • Loss of future earnings if a victim is permanently disabled and unable to return to work.

Regardless of how much income a victim loses or for how long they are unable to work, these lost wages can present significant difficulties to injury victims and their families. In these situations, victims are now dealing with incoming medical bills as well as their regular weekly and monthly expenses.

How lost wages are proven in an Oregon personal injury case

When proving lost income and lost earning capacity, we need to look at how these damages are calculated.  To prove wages that a personal injury victim loses if they are unable to work while they are recovering, the injury victim or their attorney will provide documentation such as pay stubs, statements from their employer, tax returns, bank statements, and more. All of this is evidence that shows how a victim’s current earnings are impacted during the period that they are unable to work.

However, proving lost earning capacity can be a bit more challenging. As opposed to proving current wage loss, it can be more difficult to show how a victim’s earning capacity will be affected in the near or distant future. It can be hard to predict how much money a person will earn in the future. When dealing with a temporary or permanent disability, a plaintiff and their attorney should consider working with financial and economic experts that can use the following information to determine lost earning capacity:

  • The injury victim’s age, occupation, and education level.
  • Projections about how the victim’s salary would be reasonably expected to rise over their lifetime.
  • How any promotions or automatic wage increases would have affected earning capacity.

In the event that a victim is still able to work but can only do so for fewer hours or in a job that earns less money, it needs to be shown how much of a loss of income has been incurred so the potential compensation amount can make up the difference.

Call us today to speak with our team of Portland personal injury attorneys.