If you miss time from work you are entitled to potentially two different types of damages.
We can calculate what your lost wages were because we know what you earn generally by an hourly rate, and we know how many hours you work per week, and we can multiply one against the other, and we can look at how many days you are out and multiply that number by that. And we can come to a number that we will represent as your lost wages.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If you have what we call loss of earning capacity, it’s an entirely different way of looking at your income. For example, if you are a manual laborer and all that you can do is dig ditches, but you have an injury that prohibits you from digging ditches, then now you are in a situation where you can no longer work in the field that you have always worked in, and you have what we call loss of earning capacity.
In those situations, it gets a little bit more complicated on how to figure out what the value of your loss of earning capacity claim is, because we’ll look over the course of your working life. If you’ll never get that earning capacity back, this is a lifelong issue. We’ll have to figure out exactly how much this accident has cost you, based on your loss of earning capacity. But the short answer to that question is, yes. You’re entitled to reimbursement for your lost wages, but you’re also entitled to reimbursement for your loss of earning capacity should you have an injury that takes you out of one occupation and into another occupation. And even if, in the loss of earning capacity claim, even if you go to a different job where you’re doing different things that are within your work restrictions now, you still can’t do that old job. Let’s say you’re making more money than you used to make at the old job. You’re making more money now doing computer processing or whatever it is that you’re doing at a desk instead of digging ditches. It doesn’t matter. You still have a loss of earning capacity, even though you are making more money now than you were making before.