Lost Wages Damages After a Car Crash
Victims of car crashes that suffered injuries may be entitled to different kinds of compensation, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering.
What are “Lost Wages?”
Injuries arising from a car crash can often partially or completely disrupt your life, including your work. “Lost wages” damages are meant to compensate you for the wages that you were not able to earn on account of your injury because you could not go to work – either because you were receiving treatment or recuperating from your injuries. A claim for these types of wages can be filed against your insurance provider and the insurance provider of the negligent party.
Lost Wages for Salaried Employees
Calculating these wages for salaried employees is generally straightforward. For example, if you are normally paid on an hourly basis for a 40-hour workweek, you would be entitled to your hourly salary multiplied by the days that you were unable to work on account of your injury. If you go back to work but have to miss days because of continuing treatment, you are entitled to payment for those days as well.
You are also entitled to lost compensation. This means that if you have sick days that you had to use on account of your recovery, you should be compensated for all of them. The same goes for if you had to use vacation days and bonus days (such as bank holidays) for your recovery – you should be compensated for those days as well. Moreover, if but for the injury you would have received a bonus, you are entitled to compensation for losing that as well. Finally, any pension or healthcare benefits that were affected by the injury should also be included in your claim.
In order to ensure that you get the full amount of the compensation you are entitled to, you should get a letter from your doctor detailing your injuries and how many days you before you can go back to work because of your injuries, along with any limitations on account of your treatment and recovery that might affect your work. Also, you need documentation from your company/employer to attest to how many days that you needed to miss work because of your injuries, and confirming your hourly/daily pay. In addition, however, it would be helpful if your employer also included additional details like your typical overtime information (how much overtime you historically worked and at what rate), and whether the injury prevented you from receiving other forms of compensation that you would have otherwise received (such as a bonus or promotion).
Lost Wages for Self-Employed Individuals
If you are self-employed, the calculations are likely more complicated. You can, however, show what you would have earned during the time you were being treated or recuperating.
If your business is pretty straightforward and makes a steady and reliable stream of income, you could do this based on your recent historical earnings (tax returns, accounting, and financial statements), taking into account your average growth rate, prorated for the days you were unable to work. If your injury stalled or inhibited the growth of your business in some way like if a potential client was about to close you for an urgent project but hired somebody else because you were recuperating from your injury and unable to work, you are entitled to compensation from that as well.