Recovering Lost Wages After an Injury
November 25, 2020
If a person sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, company, or entity, it is very likely they will incur various losses. This can include medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses as well as lost wages if they cannot work while they recover. Lost income is regularly overlooked when it comes to personal injury claims, but these losses are very relevant to the injury victim. Here, we want to discuss what lost wages are in a California personal injury claim, how they are calculated, and when you can recover them.
Lost Wages after a Personal Injury
There are various ways that an injury victim can sustain lost wages after an incident occurs. First and foremost, victims who sustain moderate to severe injuries often require hospitalization as well as rest and rehabilitation. This could include a doctor requiring a person to take time away from work. Sometimes, injury victims only miss a few days of work. Other times, an injury victim may miss weeks or even months of work. This can result in a significant amount of income loss for a victim and their family.
Additionally, injury victims can sustain a loss of future earnings or earning potential as a result of their injury. In some cases, an injury victim sustains a permanent disability that prevents them from working at all. This means that their lost income will include any amount of money they would have earned over the course of their lifetime.
In some cases, an injury victim sustains a disability that prevents them from returning to the same type of work, but they are still able to be employed in some capacity. If an injury victim has to take a job that pays less than their previous job, this results in a loss of their earning potential. Again, this is money out of their pocket that they would not have otherwise experienced.
How Lost Wages are Calculated
There are various ways that lost wages can be calculated. An injury victim or their attorney can ask the employer for a letter that contains the following information:
- How long they were off work
- How their pay changed as a result of the incident
- Special projects they were working on that could have affected their pay
- The history of bonuses or promotions
- A list of all job benefits
You and your Santa Ana personal injury attorney will want to gather as much proof of lost wages as possible, including pay stubs, previous tax returns, direct deposit documentation, bank statements, employment letters, etc. All of this can be used as proof of lost wages after an injury.
How are Lost Wages Recovered?
Recovering lost wages after an injury will depend on the nature of the injury itself. If the injury is work-related, then workers’ compensation insurance will be responsible for covering some or all of the lost wages the victim incurs.
If the injury occurred due to the careless or negligent actions of someone else in an incident outside of work, then the injury victims may be able to recover compensation for their lost wages through an insurance settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit settlement or verdict.
It is crucial for any injury victim who will sustain lost wages to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to investigate every aspect of the situation. An attorney will also be able to call on financial and economic experts to properly calculate the injury victim’s total lost wages.