As you recover from injuries sustained in a car accident caused by another driver, your financial situation may become precarious. Medical bills are accumulating, time away from work means lost wages and the costs of your daily life continue.
Documenting and calculating your lost wages can be complicated, and the insurance company will do its best to minimize the payout. It’s important to have a skilled Lawrenceville car accident lawyer representing you.
Understanding Lost Wages
Lost wages refer to the income you lose if you are unable to work due to injuries from an accident. As the victim, you have a legal right to seek compensation for this lost income.
The amount of lost wages can vary significantly depending on the severity of your injuries. Minor soft tissue injuries may allow you to return to work within a week or two, while broken bones or surgical procedures can keep you out of work for months.
You can seek compensation for lost future income if an accident leaves you unable to work or you earn less than before due to your injuries.
How to Claim Lost Wages After an Accident
You will need evidence to prove your usual income and how much you have lost. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, invoices, or a letter from your employer. You will also need medical documentation from your doctor specifying the time period you were unable to work.
With this evidence, your attorney can build a strong case. Also, be sure to keep copies of all correspondence with the insurance company for your records.
Insurance companies are focused on protecting their bottom line by reducing the payout for claims as much as possible. You need a skilled car accident lawyer in your corner. An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and help you recover fair compensation for your injuries and all associated costs.
Documenting and Calculating Your Lost Wages
To properly document and calculate your lost wages claim after an accident, you must take several important steps.
Gather Documentation of Your Employment and Earnings
You will need to provide records showing your employment status and earnings at the time of the accident. This includes pay stubs, W-2 or 1099 tax forms, and a letter from your employer verifying your position, salary, and work schedule. If you are self-employed, provide tax returns from the previous year.
Record Any Time You Have Missed from Work
Keep a detailed log of all the time you have been unable to work due to related injuries, including dates and the number of hours. Obtain a doctor’s note confirming you were unable to work during this time. Calculate the total hours of work you have missed.
Determine Your Hourly Wage or Salary
To calculate lost wages, you must know your standard pay rate. If you are an hourly employee, this is your standard hourly wage. If salaried, divide your annual salary by 52 to determine your weekly pay, then divide by the standard number of hours you work each week.
Calculate Your Lost Wages Amount
Multiply the total number of hours you missed by your hourly wage or weekly salary to determine your lost wages amount. For example, if you missed 20 hours of work at $25 per hour, your lost wages claim would be $500. Your lawyer will provide this total to the insurance company along with the supporting documentation.
Calculating your lost wages and gathering all the supporting documentation can be complex, plus it’s overwhelming to manage while recovering from your injuries. Our attorneys are here to help you.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Documenting and calculating your lost wages can be complicated, and the insurance company will do its best to minimize your settlement. It’s important to have a skilled car accident lawyer representing you.