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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Proving Diminished Earning Capacity in Texas

Everyone has certain mental and physical abilities that impact their ability to earn a living. Every person also has specific skills or attributes that influence how much money they will be able to make in a career over time. 
However, after you go through an accident, you may suffer from injuries that affect your physical and mental capabilities. This, in turn, can affect your ability to earn money in the future. A Texas personal injury attorney will be able to get the resources you need to determine just how much your injuries will affect your future earning capacity. 

What is Diminished Earning Capacity?

Your earning capacity is a based on your education, experience, skills, and other abilities and background. When an accident takes away one of these vital abilities, such as through a mental or physical injury, you can often recover damages for the money that you would have made in the future based on that loss. Your capacity to earn has become “diminished” because of the injuries involved.

Showing the Decrease in Earning Potential

Generally, the damage that causes your decrease in earnings must be either permanent or expected to last for a long time. You must show that the injury really has impacted your ability to work. Usually, this involves presenting medical evidence to prove that you have restrictions or limitations that have been imposed by a doctor. 
You should be able to present evidence about what you would have earned if the accident had not happened and what you would likely be making in the future now that the accident has occurred.

Estimating Earning Capacity

Under Texas law, your future earning capacity is not measured by what you made before the injury. While that information can be helpful to start the estimation process, it does not end the analysis. Instead, the jury should be presented with information regarding what your earnings could have been if the injury had not occurred. Future earnings must be shown with reasonable certainty and must be based on more than just speculation.
You can present evidence regarding:
  • What other employees in your field with similar experience or education are earning
  • How often you may have received bonuses or raises
  • How well a specific industry is doing or how much it is expected to grow
  • Work history and experience
  • Likelihood of completing schooling or training
It is often a good idea to present expert opinions regarding how much you could earn based on assumptions in each area above. 

Proving Decreased Earning Potential

Although estimates of diminished earning capacity cannot simply be plucked out of the air, the jury has a great deal of discretion in determining what your future earning capacity may be. It is essential to provide them with enough information so that they can make a reasonable determination of your damages.
A Texas personal injury attorney can help you put together the documents and information you need to present your evidence regarding diminished earning capacity effectively. Schedule a consult with our Texas personal injury lawyers at The Tony Nguyen Law Firm today to get more information about your claim.

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