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Proving Lost Wages Due to a Personal Injury

by | Sep 29, 2022

Have you been injured in an accident? If so, there’s a good chance you will be unable to return to work right away. When you can’t work, you can’t earn money. You will likely have extensive medical costs, too, including time in the hospital, surgeries, going to doctor’s appointments, medications, recovery, and more. 

If your personal injury was caused by another person or party, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and lost wages resulting from the accident. It’s important to understand that lost wages can take several different forms. It’s also challenging to prove these losses in some situations. Because of the challenges, you may face when filing a compensation claim, it’s best to hire an injury lawyer for assistance. 

There are several types of lost wages you may qualify for. Get in touch with our personal injury legal team to determine these. You can learn more about the options here. 

Potential Types of Lost Wages You May Qualify for After a Personal Injury 

Some of the types of lost wages you may qualify for after you are involved in an accident and suffer an injury include:

Lost Earnings 

Lost earnings are the simplest form you can qualify for. This type of compensation is equivalent to the money you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured. 

Loss of Paid Leave, Paid Time Off, or Sick Days

Sometimes, victims need to use their paid days off and paid leave to get the needed medical treatment. They may also use this time to recover from the injuries. If you have done this after an accident, you can recover monetary compensation based on the value of these losses. 

Loss of Income or Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is something that is often caused by accidents and personal injury cases. For example, consider if a spouse, parent, or another family member dies because of someone else’s fault or negligence. In these situations, the surviving family members can recover compensation for the economic losses resulting from their death. 

Loss of Future Earning Capacity or Wages

This is a category of lost wages that occurs when your injuries impact your ability to earn money by working in the future, doing the same job, with the same level of productivity, and with the same potential job advancement opportunities. 

Lost Tips

Tips you may have earned while working are also included in a lost wages claim. However, if you don’t typically report your tip amount, it may be challenging to recover them in your personal injury claim. You must be able to show the monetary amount of tips you are claiming through a deposit on your bank statement or on your taxes. 

Lost Perks

When you lose time at work, it may also mean that you lose some perks you are entitled to. You may have a business cell phone, the use of a vehicle, a gym membership, or something else. You can claim the value of these items or things in your pursuit of lost wages compensation. 

Determining Lost Wages After an Accident and Injury

Determining lost wages is challenging. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you figure out the evidence needed to support your personal injury claim and recover the compensation you deserve for your accident and injuries. Some of the evidence includes:

  • All records of your missed time at work and the hours of paid leave you had to take because of the accident and injury
  • Tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and similar documents that prove the total value of this lost time
  • Other statements provided by family members, employers, or anyone else who understands the financial impact of the accident and your injuries

Based on the amount of the loss, it may be necessary to hire an expert to show the extent of your future lost wages and lost earning capacity will be. Other factors will be considered when determining a fair dollar amount for these types of damages. Because of this, it is important to contact an injury attorney to determine the best course of action. 

What if You Are Self-Employed?

If you are self-employed, proving your lost wages and income is more challenging. However, with the help of an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney, it’s possible. You can claim for lost self-employment income just like anyone else who works for typical wages. It may be necessary to show your business records to prove what your income may have been. 

In situations where self-employment is involved, hire an accountant to help explain your numbers. You need strong documentation regarding what you claim if you attempt to recover for income lost as a self-employed worker. 

Lost Wages vs. Lost Earning Potential

Lost wages and lost earning potential are not the same. Lost wages look at what pay you have lost due to the accident. Lost earnings potential looks at the work you may lose down the road. Lost earnings potential looks at the work that you may lose because of the accident and your injuries in the future. 

Sometimes, this looks like a loss of opportunities, lost promotions, and the inability to keep working in the future. In some situations, you will need a forensic accountant to show how you have arrived at your claim for lost earnings potential. While claiming your lost earning potential is more challenging, it is completely possible when you have the right evidence in place. 

Hire an Attorney for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim

If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence or fault, you might be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can to ensure that you get the representation that you deserve. 

Our legal team will work for you to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and what lost wages you may be entitled to. 

Written by Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C.

Personal Injury | Worker's Compensation

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