Following a personal injury, you will have a lot of bills such as for surgical costs, hospital stays, rehabilitation and other medical appointments.
Recovery from an injury can be a difficult process, financially. This burden can get even heavier if you’re not able to work due to your injuries and you find yourself without your usual paycheck.
Fortunately, seeking compensation for your lost wages due to someone else’s negligent behavior is possible, through a personal injury claim. Why should you have to suffer financially because of someone’s negligence? Compensation for lost wages is a pretty common way of recovery from financial burdens due to a personal injury.
What are lost wages?
Compensation for lost wages is meant to cover your earnings that you would normally earn if your injuries didn’t keep you from working. These lost wages can be caused by a number of reasons e.g. missing out from work because you have a medical appointment, time spent in the hospital or recovery at home.
Lost earning potential is often part of the lost wages. This potential represents the loss of your ability (or earning capacity) to earn a certain amount of income because of your personal injury. It is most common in cases where the injuries are quite severe, causing you to be disabled and force you in a different line of work because of this.
For example, if your pre-accident job was to deliver packages and you no longer can perform that job after you injured your back in a serious car crash, which will inevitably force you to switch to another job, most likely a lesser paying one. That would represent lost earning potential.
How can you prove lost wages?
Lost wages can be proved through documentation of your income. One of those documents can be a letter from your employer. Documents should contain information on how much income you’ve lost and date when you were absent from work.
In addition, you can also use your pervious pay stubs and tax returns to prove how much you earned before your injury.
Medical records are also important in proving lost wages, because based on those reports, the medical professional can roughly estimate how long will your recovery be and how much time you might be spending off from work. So this can show the length of time you’ll have lost wages. It’s important to include medical records into your case, because sometimes the case can settle before a medical procedure can be performed. So you’ll need to know how much will you miss from work because of that.
We highly recommend that you don’t decide on your own that you’ll be missing out from work. Instead, consult with your doctor and see if he will also recommend the same. If your injuries are severe and will hinder your ability to work normally, the doctor will sign you off from work. It’s not uncommon that insurance companies contest your reasons from being off from work, if there’s no doctor’s order.
Lost wages for self-employed
If you’re a self-employed person, proving lost wages might be difficult in some cases. If you’re taking a salary from your own company, then the process is pretty simple and straightforward. But if there is no salary, then you have to take into consideration the company’s earnings. In these cases, if the company’s profit is diminished, that could be good proof of lost wages. This approach is particularly useful for small business owners that provide services for their communities.
The important thing there is to prove that the loss of your ability to work is the direct cause of the company’s diminished profit or your salary, because the opposing party will try to prove that the lower profit is caused by something else, completely unrelated to your injuries. It’s wise to have a skilled personal injury lawyer at your side so he could gather all the necessary evidence and present it in your personal injury claim.