What is the Difference Between Loss of Income and Loss of Earning Potential?

Personal injury cases include a request for the payment of damages. The money damages requested often include a claim for lost wages. There are several sub-categories of lost wages. This blog will explain the difference between loss of income and loss of earning potential. 

If you got hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you could talk to a South Carolina personal injury attorney to get help with your claim for compensation from the at-fault party. When people hurt others through negligence, they can be liable for the injured person’s losses.

Loss of Income

Loss of income, also called lost wages, is a type of monetary damages people often seek when they miss work after getting injured in an accident. If your boss paid you 100 percent of your usual wages or salary when you were away from the job recuperating from your wounds, you probably do not have a loss. However, many people miss paychecks when they are away from the office.

Let’s say that a person broke their leg in a car collision. They were in the hospital for a week and had to undergo surgery. They were away from the job for three weeks immediately following the accident. They also missed some time from work for follow-up doctor visits and physical therapy appointments.

They did not get paid for their time when away from the office. We can get their payroll records from their employer to prove the financial loss of lost wages. Loss of income can include wages, salary, self-employment income, and other types of regular income. 

Also, when they initially returned to the job, they might have been on restricted duties or restricted hours. If they did not get paid their usual income during that time, we can include that loss in their injury claim.

Loss of Earning Potential

Sometimes, people cannot make as much money after a severe injury as they did before the accident. They might have ongoing problems from their wounds. Chronic pain, loss of strength or endurance, decreased range of motion, and loss of function, are some of the common impairments people can experience after a devastating wound from an accident.

If you had to switch to a lower-paying position or decrease your working hours because of ongoing limitations from your injuries, and your treating physician expects your impairments to continue, you have a loss of earning potential. You do not have the ability to make as much money as you did before you got hurt. This is a recoverable loss if you can document how and why your earnings have changed. 

Other Types of Recoverable Damages in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases

Loss of income and loss of earning potential are only two types of money damages people pursue in a personal injury claim in South Carolina. The types and amount of compensation you could seek in your personal injury claim will depend on your specific circumstances. Some of the common categories of money damages are the cost of your medical treatment, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

You can reach out to a South Carolina personal injury attorney for a free initial consultation. There is no obligation. Get in touch with our office today for help with your case.