If a car accident caused you to miss work for a significant amount of time, contact a personal injury attorney and you may be able to recoup those lost wages.
Proving Lost Wages from a Car Accident
For some, lost wages are easy to prove. If you’re paid by the hour and you miss one week of work, you can get compensation for 40 hours worth of pay with some simple documentation from your doctor and employer. Additionally, your PIP insurance may reimburse you for up to 60% of your lost wages, no matter whose fault the accident was.
In order to recoup the percentage of lost wages not covered by your PIP, you’ll need to provide your personal injury attorney with your job title, the name of your employer, your pay rate, and how much time you have missed from work. Keep track of dates and the hours you missed work for any accident-related reason, including physical therapy, doctors appointments, and recuperation time. You may also be asked for a 13-week wage statement from your employer showing your earnings prior to the accident. Your lawyer will take this information to the at-fault driver’s insurance company during settlement negotiations.
However, for more serious accidents resulting in losing months of work, or even losing your job, calculating compensation becomes complicated. In these cases, the outcome depends on a number of factors including your age, employment history, lost promotions, lost raises, lost employment benefits, time needed to look for work and whether you’re able to continue doing the type of job you held prior to your accident. If you do find a new job, is there a wage difference between your former and current position? Having a lawyer who is aware of all the possible variations and complications will protect you from overlooking a key detail when making your claim.
Compensation for lost wages won’t come overnight. Repayment will only happen after lengthy settlement negotiations that take months for simple cases, years for complicated cases. Throughout the process it’s vital to keep records of how your income and earnings potential have been affected.
Lost Wages for Self-Employed Car Accident Victims
Proving lost income when you’re self-employed is even more complicated. Freelancers especially may not have a steady paycheck, or a salary, or even an employer able to provide income history. If the loss of income is substantial, a forensic economist may have to consult on the case to determine your economic losses. By law you are entitled to lost income, loss of earning capacity, lost profits, lost business opportunities and loss of good will, but to support your claims, you’ll have to provide every piece of possible documentation.
At its simplest, you’ll have to provide a history of your income before the accident and show how much you were making during the aftermath. Start by averaging what you made in each month before the accident and see if those earnings were more than you made after the accident. Report the difference to your lawyer. You may have to provide tax returns and financial statements. Other useful documents are your calendar of appointments showing if you had to cancel appointments or make fewer appointments than usual. You may also have to obtain letters from clients you would have met but for the accident. Loss of income for self-employed victims is difficult to prove, but an experienced lawyer can help you gather the best possible documentation for the best possible outcome.
We understand that pain, suffering, inconvenience, lost wages, and the time spent dealing with insurance companies cannot be repaired, or replaced. But, having a knowledgeable advocate on your side through this process may help you get the most possible compensation and protect you from further financial injury.
If you have a case where you feel that you, a family member or friend, have been harmed due to the negligence of another driver, please call Christopher Ligori & Associates at 877-444-2929 or call us on one of our local numbers for a for a free consultation.