Loss Of Earning In Medical Malpractice Cases: Claiming Earnings When You Were Not Working At The Time Of The Injury

Health care is one of the most costly expenses in the United States of America, with total costs expected to reach $4.8 trillion in 2021. Despite being extremely expensive, the quality of care for patients within the U.S. is relatively poor, and medical malpractice is quite common. Those who are suffering from medical malpractice can sue the practicing physicians or the medical facilities for their negligence. Loss of earnings is one of the things that you can include in your claim; however, there is a good chance that you might not have been working at the time due to your health. Even if that's the case, a medical malpractice lawyer can still claim loss of earnings in your case. Here's how.

Proving Capability by Looking at Earnings from Previous Job

Although your health may have worsened to the point where you are unable to work now, you may have still worked some time in the past before the medical conditions worsened. If your family physician misdiagnosed the condition or failed to diagnose leading to a delayed diagnosis, your medical malpractice lawyer may be able to argue that you would have been able to continue working if your diagnosis was not delayed. This is especially true if you can prove that your condition worsened as a result of the delayed diagnosis, and this is what has prevented you from working.

If this is the case, your earnings from your previous job before you quit will be proof of not only your capabilities, but also what others are willing to pay. As a result, you can claim loss of earnings for time that you took off work, and also for earnings that may be lost in the future as a result of having to take time off to recoup from your condition. Do keep in mind that the defense attorney may claim that you have no lost earning claim if you haven't worked for many years.

Looking at Job Prospects You Have Had to Reject As a Result of the Condition

If you aren't working, but have been courted by employers and have proof that they were going to hire you, you may be able to claim the salary that you would have otherwise earned as loss of earning. This is because one would assume that you would have taken the job opportunity if you were not unwell. In a situation like this, your medical malpractice attorney will require an unsigned contract or some other evidence that could prove that you would have earned a certain amount should you have decided to work. 

This will need to be coupled with medical evidence that shows why you had to reject the job offer. For example, if you were a construction worker, an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed medical condition may have led to temporary disability. 

Considering Potential Earning Capabilities 

In the event that you haven't worked for many years and have not taken any initiative to find employment, your case will be a bit tricker. In these situations, your medical malpractice attorney may need to take a look at your qualifications and determine the type of job opportunities that you would have otherwise qualified for. He or she may then need to consider what the average worker in your field would be earning should they be employed, and take into account future earnings, the growth of the industry you would have pursued, the amount of job opportunities available, and what the potential for career growth looks like.


Loss of earnings can make up a huge part of your medical malpractice claim, and is not something that should be overlooked. Medical malpractice can lead to serious consequences. If you are a victim of medical negligence, make sure to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible in order to build a strong case that will benefit your position.