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Lost Wages Claims: The Basics

A car accident can have a wide variety of negative effects on everyone. The loss of transportation makes it more difficult to run your errands. Dealing with insurance companies can be a long, drawn-out process. However, these negative consequences are mostly inconveniences. What happens when the consequences become more serious?

Injuries are a major reason people reach out to an attorney after a car accident. Hospital bills can quickly grow out of hand. These bills can result in debt that follows a person around for a long time. Many people know they can work with a personal injury attorney to recoup some of these expenses, if not all of them.

But there is another aspect of injuries sustained in a car wreck that can lead to financial compensation for the victim: An inability to work as a result of the sustained injuries. This is what’s known as a lost wages claim.

But how do you know if you qualify for such a claim? And how do you file for one?

Lost Wages: Defined

“Lost wages” refers to the money you would have made had you not been injured. This includes all of the time between the date of the accident to the final settlement. Many who are injured need time to recover from their injuries. They occasionally even find themselves unable to perform the duties of their position as a result of these injuries. This results in a loss of income from the employer of the injured party through no fault of their own.

Lost wages can be split into two different considerations: lost earning capacity and lost compensation. These are considered separately and will both factor into the ultimate settlement. 

Lost earning capacity relates to a person’s ability to continue earning as they move forward. If, for instance, a person works in a coffee shop and must be on their feet throughout the day and they sustain a leg injury that inhibits their mobility, this will affect their ability to earn wages. This is an example of a person’s reduced earning capacity.

Lost compensation relates directly to the point in time between the accident and when they are again mobile. A victim will be unable to work while they are receiving medical care. And then they will continue to be unable to earn while they are recovering from the injury itself. The money they lose during this phase is what’s referred to as lost compensation.

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What’s Covered?

The most straightforward way to calculate your lost time at work is with a simple math equation. 

For instance, if you get 15 dollars an hour and generally work 8 hour shifts, your daily income is $120 (15 x 8). And if your injury kept you away from work for 10 days, you multiply that daily income by 10 to get $1200.

There are additions that can be made to this number. If you frequently receive compensation for working overtime, that can be factored in as well. So can any bonuses you might miss out on receiving as a result of your time off because of your injury.

Were you forced to use paid sick days as a result of your injury? You can be reimbursed for these. The same goes for paid vacation days.

If you work for tips, you are able to include those to the amount that you normally claim. Those who don’t frequently claim their tips as income, however, will miss out on this possibility.

How Do I File?

Your very first call after you complete your medical care should be to an experienced car accident attorney in Nashville or Kentucky like Bart Durham Injury Law. They’ll help guide you through the process of both filing your lost wages claim and proving the legitimacy of your need.

Your attorney will help you file a claim with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve. You will be asked to provide proof of your claim which could include the following options: 

  • A doctor’s note stating that you are unable to work along with a recommended amount of time before you are able to return.
  • A letter from your employer vouching for your claims of average hours worked, rate of pay, and any other factors in your lost wages claim.
  • Pay stubs, tax returns, bank documents, or anything else that can verify the income that you have lost during this time.

The professionals at Burt Durham Injury Law are here to help you with every step toward your financial compensation. These injuries are not your fault and you shouldn’t be punished for the behavior of others.

Contact Bart Durham


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