Workers compensation loss of earning capacity benefits are only available in Wisconsin for nonscheduled permanent injuries. A nonschedule permanent disability is one affecting the the torso or head, including mental faculties but excluding hearing or sight. See Wis. Stat. § 102.44(3). Most of the cases we see involve the low back, neck or psychological damage resulting from or along with a physical injury.
Future loss of earning capacity is a measure of settlement money meant to compensate someone injured in an automobile accident that because of the injury, cannot hope to earn the money he or she could have if not for the injury.
Loss of earning capacity is not the same as disability percentage in Wisconsin workers' compensation law. When an injured worker has a work-related permanent injury, the doctor may assign a disability percentage to the injured body part. For example a shoulder may have a 5% permanent partial disability percentage, also referred to as a 5% PPD percentage. Wisconsin statutes and administration codes provide the amount of workers compensation benefits due for the PPD percentage depending on the body part, location of injury, date of injury disability rate and other factors. In many cases the worker's compensation insurance carrier will simply pay the injured worker the correct benefits due. In other cases the insurance company will deny paying, often using an independent medical examination or IME doctor as a defense. The IME doctor may deny there is a permanent injury or PPD, or the IME doctor will suggest a lower PPD percentage. Injuries to arms and legs are called scheduled injuries because the statutes provide a schedule depending on the body part. For scheduled injuries, the permanent disability benefits are determined based on the percentage assigned by the doctor.
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.
In Wisconsin, future 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 past wage loss, the jury is asked what sum of money will fairly and reasonably compensate plaintiff for future loss of earning capacity. This occurs when someone has a permanent injury from an automobile accident or slip and fall, resulting in back surgery or neck surgery.