Personal injury litigations are extremely prevalent in the United States. Over 31 million Americans are injured each year to the point where they require medical attention. Many of those injured are teenagers. It is extremely difficult for teenagers to claim compensation in comparison to adults when it comes to earning capacity. This is because there is simply insufficient data to make a good assumption of the amount of compensation that should be paid out. If you are in this situation, you should speak to a personal injury attorney regarding your situation.
What Does Loss of Earning Capacity Mean?
Many people confuse loss of earning capacity with wage loss. While wage loss refers to the amount of money that one should have earned if he or she was not injured, loss of earning capacity refers to the amount that one could have earned if the injury did not take place. It calculates the estimated total amount of potential earnings one could have enjoyed if he or she continued on the same route they were on before the injury.This means that the injury has resulted in some form or type of incapacitation that prevents the injured individual from being able to reach the same potential as before.
What Are Some Factors That Are Taken Into Account to Calculate Loss of Earning Capacity?
Calculating loss of earning capacity for adults is much easier than calculating it for teenagers. This is because adults generally already are on a designated career path. From this, it is easy for a lawyer to speculate how much that individual could have earned if he or she stayed in the same occupation. This includes the potential for promotions and increases in wage with time. For teenagers, this can be significantly more difficult – especially if the teenager has not yet started working. As a result, determining loss of earning capacity can be rather difficult. Some factors that are used to determine the potential loss of earning capacity include:
- future aspirations. Witness testimony from teachers and other people in positions from authority can back up claims regarding any future aspirations the teenager may have had. These witnesses can provide information regarding whether these aspirations were feasible.
- school grades and volunteer or work experience. Taking a look at the teenager's grades and volunteer or work experience can provide further information regarding the type of career that he or she may have been able to achieve.
- sociological and statistical data based on educational attainment and occupation of parents. Some personal injury lawyers may take into consideration the positions and salaries of the parents to gauge the potential of the teenager. For example, if the parents hold professional occupations, there's a good chance that the teenager would have followed on a similar path based on statistical data.
- statistical data of earning capacity of an average adult in one's local region. This takes a look at how much the average adult earns based on where one resides.
- the extent of the injuries sustained. Naturally, the loss of earning capacity will also be dictated by the extent of the injuries, as this will provide further insight as to the physical, mental and emotional capabilities of the teenager.
Calculating loss of earning capacity can be difficult for teenagers, as there is no telling what they could have accomplished in the future. As a result, it's important to have the professional advice of a personal injury attorney before proceeding any further in claiming any compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you determine whether or not you are being compensated fairly. For more information, visit sites like http://www.danielgoodmanlaw.com.