After someone is seriously injured in a car accident, many think they are only eligible for medical expenses. But, if you have lost work or employment opportunities because of a vehicle collision that is someone else’s fault, you can pursue the recovery of lost wages.
You don’t have to suffer a long-term to recoup the income you lost due to a car accident. Your injuries don’t have to be merely physical, either.
Understanding Compensation for Lost Wages
Your injuries do not have to be devasting to file a compensation claim. For example, a broken limb likely means you have lost time at work. The loss of those wages adds to the stress of pain and recovery. If you were out of work for a month, you are eligible for a month’s worth of pay.
Physical pain and injuries are not the only negative effect of a car accident. Wrecks can lead to emotional, mental, and behavioral distress. In severe cases, people can recover lost wages and lost earning capacity. PTSD is an example of a psychological injury that could last a lifetime.
Victims of car accidents can recover funds lost through employment when they experience long-lasting or permanent injuries. However, it does not mean that if you return to work, you can’t seek damages due to lost earning capacity. For example, if you miss out on a promotion or higher-paying job, you could still be eligible.
Usually, chronic pain and loss of stamina and endurance are disabling injuries that qualify.
Worsening of Pre-Existing Conditions
Most people think that pre-existing conditions disqualify someone for filing a loss of wages claim when an accident makes their illness worse. However, that is not the case.
Suppose a car accident has made your pre-existing condition worse. In that case, you are just as eligible for lost wages or earning capacity as if it caused a new injury. The worsening of your pre-existing condition can lead to the inability to work or do as much work as before the auto accident. You can recover those wages and file for lost earning capacity.
Proof of Lost Wages or Earning Capacity
First, when it comes to lost wages, submitting your recent paycheck or past pay stubs is proof that you not only lost work, but you lost income, too.
Some people are self-employed, but as long as you have invoices from the previous year, you likely can easily qualify, too. Also, lost tips and other non-salary benefits require decent proof but are recoverable.
Lost earning capacity is a bit trickier, and why it is important to have an attorney representing you after a serious car accident. It requires speculation about the future because it depends on someone’s line of work and the type of injuries, and the severity.
Another reason personal injury lawyers are vital when pursuing a claim because they know how much you are eligible for and get a fair and just judgment or settlement. Insurance companies will always have their best interest in mind and try to hinder you from getting the funds you deserve.
Witnesses and Testimony
Attorneys have a network of experts available to them when clients are seriously injured in a car accident. They will call experienced financial and economic experts to develop a ballpark figure of lost earning capacity and wages that do not include your damages and additional costs of the accident itself.
Typically, additional evidence and testimony will include your character traits, education, certifications, and work habits to prove you lost the capacity to make what you are worth. In some cases, they will factor in any intention to change careers or seek promotions.
Recovering Lost Wages Requires Representation
Seeking judgment concerning lost wages or lost earning capacity is not always the smoothest of roads. It is no longer about who was at fault. Instead, it is about the nature and extent of your injuries. Personal injury attorneys understand the law and know how to use common sense when approaching these sorts of cases.
Settlements happen in loss of wages claims. However, some do go to trial. In many cases, that can be a more favorable outcome because juries tend to have quite a bit of leeway when deciding about the awarded amount. It means you need a lawyer that can negotiate, but that can also argue a case in court if need be.
Any accident claim is a big deal and can get complicated. In these sorts of cases, it is that much more difficult. Personal injury attorneys give free consultations and advice so that you can know you are eligible before trying to pursue a case of lost wages or lost earning capacity. You do not have to do this alone and deserve compensation and justice.