4 Considerations For Calculating Lost Wages When Filing A Personal Injury Claim
If you have been seriously injured due to the negligence of another, you may use up much-needed sick- and vacation time, or miss the income from your job altogether. Why should you have to pay for that? Losing income is one of the more subtle ways in which the negligence of another can impinge upon your life.
The good news is that you have a right to claim lost wages when filing a personal injury claim. A court can order the defendant’s insurance company to compensate you not just for your pain, suffering, and medical needs, but also for your lost wages as well.
In order to successfully recover lost wages in a personal injury case, however, you must document all your missed scheduled work hours and wages. If you lose your job as a result of the injury, you must also document the time it takes you find another a job. You will likely have to produce this information during the discovery process of your case, and the defendant’s insurance company will likely use your documentation to assess whether they will pay for your lost wages.
Listed below are four components of a personal injury claim for lost wages.
Get Doctor’s Note Regarding Your Time-Off Due to Injury
If your doctor thinks time off from work is necessary after your injury, ask your doctor how long you should stay out of work in order to fully heal. Have the doctor put this information in writing and sign it. Ask him to keep a copy in your medical file, and you should keep a copy as well.
Ask Your Employer about Your Lost Pay
Ask your employer how much money you will lose by taking the doctor’s recommended time off from work.
For example, your doctor has written that you should stay out of work for two weeks. Your boss tells you that amount of time-off would equal $1,200.00. As your boss to write that down, sign it, and give the written statement to you.
Finding a New Job
What if you lose your job as a result of your injury? How do you claim lost income for a job you no longer have?
If you are terminated while recovering from your injury, you should keep track of how long it takes for you to find a new job, and document all of your efforts to find a new job. If you do find a new job, obtain documentation showing the difference in pay between your new job and your old job, assuming you are now paid less. That difference counts as lost future earnings, which you can claim as well.
Don’t Mess Around—Contact an Attorney
Finally, you should call a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you through the process, and can also secure experts to help with your lost wages claim. For example, a forensic economist could calculate and demonstrate to the jury the extent of your lost income.