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How Do I Seek Help for Lost Wages After a Car Accident?

Oct 18, 2023 | Auto Accident


Car Accident

If your injuries in a car accident permanently affect your ability to perform the same job, how do you seek compensation for a loss of future earnings due to a diminished work capacity? If your earning potential suffers from a car accident, you may benefit from the help of an Indiana personal injury attorney to work on your claim as soon as possible after the incident.

Damages You Can Seek After an Accident

You may pursue economic and non-economic damages after a car accident. Damages are monetary compensation meant to make the victim whole again after injuries and losses sustained from someone else’s negligence.

Economic damages include tangible losses like medical bills and lost wages with calculable value. Non-economic damages cover intangible losses, including pain and suffering or accident-related emotional distress.

The court may also award punitive damages to punish the defendant for recklessness, wantonness, oppression, or intent. Indiana caps punitive damages at $50,000 or three times the amount of economic damages awarded, whichever is higher.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover expenses incurred by a victim that they wouldn’t have had without the accident. Economic damage awards in car accident cases can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing physical therapy or occupational rehabilitation
  • Travel expenses for treatment
  • Household services that the victim once performed (lawn care, housecleaning, etc.)
  • Lost wages from time off work
  • Diminished work capacity for future earnings (based on income before the accident)

Your Indiana personal injury attorney can help track your expenses and calculate lost earning potential for future earnings.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover mental and emotional trauma and psychological impact from your accident. Common non-economic damages in car accident cases include:

Your attorney can help you calculate non-economic damages applicable to your case. Because every case is different, economic damages awarded in your case might differ from another car accident victim’s award.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Calculate Diminished Work Capacity

Several factors go into calculating diminished earning capacity. Your lawyer will help determine what your injuries are worth concerning future earnings you may have received if not for those injuries. Factors for calculating loss of future earnings include:

  • Your life expectancy based on your current age and health before the accident
  • How much of your life would have been spent working
  • Your current job and work experience
  • Projections for your career path, including promotions and raises
  • Your earnings before the accident
  • Your work skills, special training, and education
  • The impact on your ability to perform tasks in your current job
  • The value of your skills in the current job market

By considering all these factors, your attorney can help you calculate lost future earnings you may have been paid if not for your reduced capacity to perform your daily work tasks.

Modified Comparative Fault in Indiana

Indiana has a 51% modified comparative fault rule that can also impact the amount of compensation you may pursue. You can’t claim compensation for your injuries if you were more than 50% at fault for your accident. So, if your final award is $100,000 and you were 40% at fault, you would receive $60,000. However, you would not receive compensation if you were 60% at fault.

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys: Your Indiana Car Accident Law Firm

When you need an Indiana personal injury attorney to help you fight for compensation for diminished earning capacity after an accident, turn to our experienced team at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Call us today at 317-846-8999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation at one of our offices.

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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall,  truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.