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Compensation for Lost Wages and Wage Earning Capacity


If you suffer an injury that temporarily prevents you from working, you are entitled to compensation for your period of disability.  This can come in the form of lost wages or wage earning capacity, depending on your situation. In the event that you were employed at the time of your injury, you are entitled to lost wages payments. If you were unemployed at the time, or did not suffer loss of income but had to use leave time, you are entitled to damages for loss of wage earning capacity.

Insurance adjusters frequently deny loss of wage earning claims to unemployed claimants such as college students and stay-at-home parents.  Therefore, it is particularly important for those claimants to retain a knowledgeable civil litigation attorney to represent their interests. 

North Carolina law states anyone disabled because of the negligence of another is entitled to pursue loss of wage earning capacity damages even if he or she was unemployed at the time of the personal injury.  The idea is that everyone should have the choice of whether or not to work.  If a negligent party’s actions have destroyed that choice, then they should have to compensate your for that damage. The jury ultimately determines your exact damages for loss of wage earning capacity.

Another lost compensation issue involves employed persons who do not suffer any loss of pay during their period of disability. Even if someone receives his or her salary but has to take time off, he or she may recover the payment for that time. The principle here is that leave time is a benefit of employment. Therefore, the injured party should not have to use PTO due to someone else’s negligence.

The Raleigh civil litigation attorneys of Maginnis Howard handles personal injury claims on a contingency basis. Consultations are free and the client does not pay any attorneys’ fees unless they make a recovery.

Injured due to someone else’s negligence? Contact us today. You may reach us at (919) 526-0450, by email at or through our contact page. Our attorneys regularly practice in Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Apex, Morrisville, Wake Forest, Clayton, and the surrounding Triangle area.