Lost Earning Capacity on Workers' CompensationLost earning capacity, sometimes called future loss of earning or impairment of earning power, refers to the fact that an injured employee may not be able to earn the income he or she might have if not for the injury. It attempts to address how an injury will impact a person’s ability to earn income in the future and how a person’s career would have proceeded without the injury. For example, if a police officer is struck by a car on the job and suffers a shoulder injury that prevents him or her from performing his or her duties now and in the future, his or her employment future is changed. He or she may not be able to advance as he or she would have without the burden of the injury, or he or she may not even be able to continue to work as a police officer at all. Determining lost earning capacity can be a complicated process because it's difficult to predict the future. Simply multiplying wages may not provide a clear picture of what could be lost, as many people experience improvements in talent and skill that can lead to promotions and pay raises over the years.
Factors That Affect Lost Earning Capacity in Iowa Workers’ Compensation CasesIn an attempt to best address lost earning capacity as fairly as possible, the parties consider a variety of factors. These can include:
- Medical condition before the injury.
- Medical condition immediately after the injury.
- Current medical condition.
- The part of the body injured.
- Length of recovery.
- Work experience.
- Intellectual, emotional, and physical capacity to learn to perform other work.
- Earnings before and after the injury.
- Functional impairment related to the injury.
- Loss of ability to do your old job.
- Loss of earnings because of the injury.
Lost Earning Capacity Can Play an Important Role in Your Future
If you’ve suffered a serious injury on the job, and you will not be able to make a full recovery, the future can seem uncertain. In these cases, it is important that the courts or insurance adjusters understand the full impact the injury will have on you and your family going forward. Lost earning capacity is intended to ensure that injured employees can maintain a safe and secure future. Unfortunately, it is common for insurance companies to dispute many aspects of a case in an attempt to save money. Lost earning capacity can be a gray area, and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your interests and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love has suffered a work-related injury, an experienced workers' compensation lawyer at the Pothitakis Law Firm may be able to help. Call our Iowa legal team today at 866-753-4692 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at one of our two convenient locations.
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- Benefits Available Under the Workers' Compensation Act
- Choosing a Doctor After an Iowa Work Injury
- Collecting a Workers' Compensation Settlement for a Neck and Back Injury
- How Do You Calculate a Lower Back Injury Settlement Amount Under Workers' Compensation?