In Wisconsin, past loss of earning capacity is an element of damages an injured person may recover in a personal injury claim.  In addition to money for pain and suffering and medical bills, and future wage loss, the jury is asked what sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate plaintiff for past loss of earning capacity.  This occurs when someone has an injury from an automobile accident or slip and fall, resulting missed work, or rather, the inability to work.

If the jury is satisfied that injured person has suffered a loss of past earning capacity as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, the jury answers the question of what is the difference between what the person was reasonably capable of earning in their usual occupation from the date of the accident to the present time had the accident victim not been injured and what he or she was reasonably capable of earning during the period in view of his or her injuries.

If the injured person was the owner and operator of a business at the time of the accident, in determining his or her loss of past earning capacity, the jury must consider the character and size of the business, the capital and labor employed in the business, and the extent and quality of injured person’s services to the business, and the profits of the business.

If the injured person was delayed in graduating from school, the jury may consider this delay in determining reasonable compensation for past wage loss.

The injured person has the burden of establishing loss of past earning capacity by the greater weight of the credible evidence, to a reasonable certainty, that the person sustained the loss of past wages.  This burden of proof is usually referred to as more probable than not.  A persuasive wage loss claim having the highest value includes a doctor’s authorization off work and an employer’s statement documenting the missed work.  An accountant may be necessary to prove a business owner’s wage loss damages.  

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin McCormick Law Office attorneys get the best results for past loss of earning capacity claims or wage loss by having off work slips from the treating doctor stating no work or assigning work restrictions the employer cannot accommodate.  The loss of past earning capacity claims should be honest and trustworthy past wage loss determinations based on the evidence.  For top settlements or trial preparation, we take great care in assembling quality proof to get the largest settlement value, we always respect the process and weigh that the cost of proving the case is affordable to the client in auto accident or collision cases.