If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another, your injuries may prevent you from the ability to earn the same level of income.  When this occurs after a personal injury, both Missouri and Kansas law allow you to seek compensation for that loss in future earnings capacity.

To know what steps you need to take after an accident, our personal injury attorneys in Missouri and Kansas are here to help.  We'll fight on your behalf in recovering damages, including lost wages and future earnings capacity.  Call us today for a free consultation at 816-203-0143.

What Is Lost Earning Capacity in Missouri or Kansas?

wallet with money in drawerIn Kansas and Missouri case law, lost earning capacity can also be referred to as:

  • Impairment of earning power,
  • Loss of your future earning capacity, or
  • Loss of your future earnings.

Actual lost wages or income is different from loss of earning capacity.  A loss of income refers to a person’s loss of past earnings as a result of an injury from an accident.  On the other hand, lost earning capacity is income that an individual could have potentially earned in the future.

For example, if there was an accident where you suffered a broken bone by another person's negligence, and that injury caused you to miss work, you have legal grounds to seek compensation for any lost wages during your recovery.  If you do not fully recover and cannot return to work, you also have the right to pursue a claim for any loss in future earnings capacity due to your injuries.  It is common for the insurance company of the at-fault party to deny or discount any loss in earnings capacity.  These damages are complicated and require expert testimony to prove in court. 

There are different legal factors that will be considered to determine damages in a lost earning capacity lawsuit.  Here are some specific indicators our personal injury attorneys in Missouri and Kansas will consider:

  • Your injuries and permanent impairments
  • Your current position and prior work experience
  • Your skills, talents, abilities
  • Your age and life expectancy

To prove a loss in earnings capacity, it's helpful to have a medical expert testify and speak on the severity of your injuries.  The expert will talk about how the injury will impact your ability to work in the future.  A labor economist is also typically needed to do the mathematical calculation of the loss of your future earnings.

Proving Lost Wages vs. Loss of Earning Capacity

Compared to lost income, lost earning capacity is notably harder to prove.  Lost income is in the past and is easier to calculate based on wage history.  This can be accomplished by providing past pay stubs and work attendance.

Proving loss of income is more complex especially if the individual is self-employed or if they do not have a full-time job.  An example of documents used as evidence for potential loss of income are bills and invoices that show missed meetings.

Loss in earnings capacity requires predicting your future work abilities in light of your injuries and placing a monetary value of any loss.  We will also consider the likelihood of future raises or promotions.  This requires determining your future career trajectory if you hadn’t sustained the injury.

Calculating Loss in Earnings Capacity

The loss of earnings capacity is calculated based on your ability to earn in the future.  This is typically proven through a report by a labor economist who is retained by our legal team.  We will want to prove that as a result of your injury, your future capacity to earn wages has diminished.  The labor economist will then put a number on that loss based on a number of factors.

You do not need to be completely disabled to recover future loss of earnings.  However, we will want to prove that you are not able to work and earn income as you otherwise would due to the accident and negligence of the other party.


Consult with Our Kansas City Injury Attorney

If you are struggling with the loss of income or earnings capacity after an injury, our attorneys are here to help you with the support you need.  Personal injury and lost earnings capacity claims are complicated.  Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in collecting the evidence needed to prove your case.  We’re licensed in Missouri and Kansas and handle accident and injury claims throughout both states.  

Call our office for a free consultation at 816-203-0143 or fill out our online contact form.  You can also instantly download our free book Learn How You Can Maximize the Value of Your Injury Claim Without Going to Court.  We're here for you, and on your side.

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS
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