Lost wages after a car accident – How to prove them

December 10, 2021

Lost wages after a car accident – How to prove them

lost wages after a car accident
After an injury in an accident, if you had to miss work and it’s not your fault, you need to know how to prove lost wages after a car accident and get paid for them.

What are exactly lost wages?

The wages or income that you would normally early if not for the negligence of the at-fault party, are called lost wages. If you were in a car accident that was not your fault, and the injuries sustained in it are preventing you to earn your normal wage, you could submit a personal injury case against the at fault driver for lost wages after a car accident. In this claim, you would seek compensation for injuries and costs that you had to pay because someone else’s negligent behavior. In most cases, the compensation comes from the at-fault party’s insurance provider, but in order to receive it, you will need to have proof and documents backing up your case and compensation claim. There are two types for damages you can seek compensation for. The first ones are the economic damages which can be easily calculated and represent the financial loss the accident caused you. This means that you can include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, diminished earning potential and lost wages after a car accident. The second type are the so-called non-economic damages, which cannot be calculated to easily and are usually referring to the pain and suffering you (or your family) endured because of the accident.

Examples of lost wages after a car accident

  • When it comes to lost wages after a car accident, we usually include the following:
  • Wages and earnings that you would normally earn if it weren’t for the accident and injuries caused by it
  • Paid time off (or PTO) that you have to use in order to provide for your family because you’re not able to work
  • Income or wage that you would normally earn for overtime work, but now you cannot due to your injuries
  • Lost commissions, bonuses etc. that you usually earn in your line of work for high performance
  • Various promotions or pay rises that you’re not entitled to now because of the accident.
Not being able to go to work due to your injuries is the most common instance of lost wages after a car accident. You as the victim, could be missing some time from work because you need time to recover from the injuries or due to medical appointment. If you also had to use up your benefits like PTO or vacation, they could also be counted towards lost wages because you had to use up those benefits in order to get a regular income and support your family. Not every car accident would result in time off from work and lost wages. Sometimes people are able to return back to work relatively soon, but the pace that they are working on is slightly lower than before. This means that their earning potential will also decrease, hurting their income which can also be used as an additional point on the lost wage after a car accident claim.

How to prove lost wages?

When it coms to proving lost wages after a car accident, you ca only prove what you’ve lost. This can be proved either through documentation of missing work or documentation of lost income.

Missing work documentation

The first thing you and your personal injury lawyer need to prove is that your time off from work was justified. If you need absence from work, it should be signed off by a doctor first and usually doctors will recommend it. We recommend that you discuss the situation with your doctor. Some are able to return to work right away. However, their doctor recommends that you work less hours or do less strenuous work for a certain period of time. This of course depends from one case to the other so make sure that you first discuss the possibilities and options with your physician.

Lost income documentation

Lost wages after a car accident, can also be proven with document that show your wages or hours before and after the accident. This can include your paystubs, wage verification, tax forms etc. These documents can clearly show your earning potential before and after the accident. Self-employed people also have this option and they can include tax forms, rendered checks, bank statements etc. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you with this to make your case as stronger as possible. Missing out on work because of car accident injuries doesn’t mean that your life will come to a halt and that the bills will stop coming. You should hire an experienced personal injury or car accident attorney who could help you put you back on track and make sure you get compensated for lost wages after a car accident. So if you were in a car accident and were injured because someone else was negligent, make sure to contact us for a free consultation and let us represent you.