Finance, LEGAL

How to Include Loss of Wages in a Personal Injury Case

Are you missing work due to your injuries? Are you struggling with a loss of wages?

Proving loss of wages due to a car accident isn’t an easy feat, but it’s possible with hard evidence. The best forms of evidence include an employer letter, doctor’s note, and medical bills.

You can also involve a forensic accountant to bolster your claim. More importantly, hire a personal injury attorney who knows how to enhance your lost wages claim.

This article will show you how to include lost wages in a personal injury case. Read further to know more. 

Involve Your Employer

Your employer can verify your lost income. They can also confirm all future income that you’ll lose throughout the recovery process. The letter will be useful during insurance negotiations or court proceedings. It should contain the following key pieces of information:

  • Your salary, commission, or any other form of compensation
  • How the injury has disrupted your work routine
  • Lost benefits and perks
  • Previous histories of promotions and bonuses 

Overall, the letter should contain as many details as possible. Insurance companies and/or defense lawyers will use any opening or vagueness to deny you compensation. If the letter lacks specifics, don’t be afraid to ask your employer for more information.  

Seek Your Doctor’s Help

Most likely, your doctor has recommended against returning to work as you recover. Use that to your advantage. Gather all medical bills that note your injuries. You can even ask your doctor for a letter underscoring the significance of your injuries.

If you’re facing a long-term recovery, the doctor’s note should outline your recovery prospects in detail. Also, a doctor can convey when you can return to work. Use this timeline to calculate your lost wages.

Independent Efforts

You must calculate the lost wages on your own. Your employer can also help you calculate the lost income. A loss of wages calculation involves the following: 

  • Example: Let’s say you have a $20 salary and missed 10 days of work. Moreover, you usually work 8-hour shifts. The calculation breaks down as follows: 20 x 10 x 8 = $1600. 

Independent calculations are necessary, but it won’t be enough to win lost wages. In addition to employer verification, gather all tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements that document your previous income. Any document that notes your income history will be vital. 

You’ll also need to verify potential earnings in the future. There’s a difference between lost wages and lost earnings:

  • Lost Wages: Lost wages cover the money that you’ve already lost. 
  • Lost Earnings: Lost earnings covers all money that you’ll lose in the future.

Calculating lost earnings can be difficult but not impossible. Calculate your lost earnings in the same manner as your lost wages. 

To make your calculations more legitimate, you may need to hire a forensic accountant to review your findings. A letter from a forensic accountant confirming your calculations will be a useful asset. 

Other Calculations

In addition to wages, you can claim other income sources and perks, such as:

  • Tips
  • Overtime
  • Commissions
  • Benefits
  • Vacation time

If any of these apply to you, enlist your employer for assistance. For bonuses, your employer can convey what type of bonuses you would have received. Further, your boss can mention all bonuses or overtime that you’re missing and will miss in the future.

You can also apply the same standard for any vacation days that you’ll miss. The court or insurance company will place a dollar amount on all missed perks.

You can even include perks such as gym memberships offered by your company. Conversely, tips can be harder to claim if you don’t include them on your tax return, or if you don’t deposit the funds into your account. 

Self Employment Income

Victims can also claim self-employment when suing for a loss of wages. It’s a difficult task, but it can be done with the help of a forensic accountant. First, gather any form of documentation that shows your income history.

If you own a business, keep all business records as well. From there, make the calculations on your own, and have a forensic accountant review your calculations. When calculating on your own, document your normal income stream to solidify how much you lost and how much you’ll lose in the future. 

Contact an Attorney

Regardless of your income source, you need an attorney to help you build a case. They can help you calculate lost wages and future earnings.

They can also tell you what type of documentation you’ll need to win your case. They may even connect you with a reputable forensic accountant, or any other professional who can enhance your case.

A lawyer will be crucial if your case involves insurance payouts or worker’s comp claims. If you must file a lawsuit, you’ll need an attorney to articulate your case and present the evidence to a jury. A lawsuit may be necessary if insurance denies your lost wages claim. 

The Steps Needed to Prove a Loss of Wages

A loss of wages can be hard to prove without compelling evidence. Your employer will be your most important ally.

They can confirm your claims and help you calculate all lost income/wages. Additionally, a doctor can confirm the severity of your injuries.

Regardless of your income source, you should calculate all lost previous and future income on your own. Then, contact a forensic accountant to confirm your calculations. A forensic accountant isn’t necessary, but they will add more legitimacy to your calculations. 

Interested in reading more? Read more on our blog to learn about other topics.