Being injured in an accident can cause weeks or years of lost wages. When an injury occurs as a result of another person's negligence or misconduct, it may be possible to recover current and future lost wages. A personal injury attorney can help accident victims get the compensation for lost wages that they deserve. At Saunders Law Group, our attorneys are dedicated to maximizing client compensation in personal injury and loss of wages claims in and around Bartow, FL and Lakeland, FL. Contact our law firm to find out how we can help you.
What Lost Wages are Recoverable?
When injured in an accident, it may be possible to recover lost wages from the party responsible for the incident. Lost wages in a personal injury case typically include income that was lost as a result of being unable to work due to an injury. This also includes wages missed from undergoing treatment for injuries. Simply put, whether a job is full-time, part-time, self-employment, or occasional employment, any wages lost as a result of an injury may be sought.
Can Lost Wages Be Recovered if Sick Leave Is Used?
Yes, lost wages can still be recovered even if sick leave or vacation pay was used. The fact that sick leave or vacation pay can allow an injured party to make up for lost wages does not effect the ability to seek compensation for lost wages in a personal injury claim. The reasoning is that a person should be able to use sick leave or vacation pay at a time of his or her choosing. When an injury forces a person to use sick leave or vacation time before he or she wants to, he or she has essentially lost that pay.
Determining Compensation for Lost Wages
When determining compensation for lost wages, it must be shown how much time was missed from work as a result of the accident and how much money would have been made during this time.
- Have your employer provide the number of hours normally worked, rate of pay, and time missed due to an accident on company letterhead. Your employer should also provide your name and position, but does not need to include information regarding whether or not vacation pay or sick leave was used.
- If self-employed, providing business records can help prove loss of income. Invoices or billing statements are often beneficial as they can show a clear drop in income. Also beneficial are any letters or documents showing the cancellation of business appointments or loss of work related to your injuries or accident.
- For those who work occasionally, for example, those who make most of their income during the summer, it is often best to provide documents showing income for a year. The yearly earnings can then be divided to determine a monthly or weekly average if need be.
- Personal tax returns from the previous year may also be used to show gross income when determining what you may have earned had you not become injured. Including a few years worth of tax returns as well as any evidence of the current year's income can help further support your claim of lost wages.
Loss of Future Wages May Also Be Considered
Although proving loss of future wages is not as straightforward as proving loss of current wages, it may be possible to gain compensation for loss of future income. If it can be demonstrated that job opportunities were lost due to an injury, it may be possible to increase the amount you are compensated.
Contact Saunders Law Group
If you need help recovering lost wages in a personal injury claim, the attorneys at Saunders Law Group are here to help. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.