When you’ve been injured in a car accident and have to miss work due, the at-fault party’s insurance company usually doesn’t pay your lost wages as you incur them.
Typically, the wages you lose after an accident are not paid by the liable party’s insurer. This usually does not occur until a full and final settlement is reached.
After that, you sign a release that terminates your right to receive any other damages related to the accident.
It can take several months to reach an agreement in your settlement.
If the insurance company contests the matter or liability denied, you may have to file a lawsuit, further delaying recovery.
While you’re trying to settle your case, you may continue to lose wages if you cannot work due to your injuries.
This can be very stressful as your medical bills and other financial obligations continue to grow as you recover from your injuries.
If you’ve been in a car accident where somebody else was at fault, and you’ve missed work or missed out on other income opportunities due to car accident injuries, you might be wondering how you can recover for these losses.
Read on for the answers.
Lost Income and Car Accident Damages
When you file a car accident lawsuit, you can recover missed wages resulting from the accident.
The most obvious example of recovering income you’ve missed due to injury is when a physical injury, like a broken arm, prevents you from working.
In cases like this, you are entitled to recover the wages you would have received had your arm not been broken, and you were able to go back to work.
If you were to miss work for two months, you will recover the amount you would have typically been paid during those two months.
Other debilitating and disabling car accident injuries like psychological injuries are also grounds for recovering the income you’ve lost. Of course, this depends on the severity of the condition.
Compensation for Lost Earning Capacity
If a traffic accident causes permanent or long-lasting disability that affects your ability to earn money for an indefinite time, you have options. You may recover damages for lost earning capacity.
Even if you’re able to work, you can still receive compensation if a disability prevents you from getting a higher-paying job.
And don’t forget that chronic pain and a general loss of stamina can qualify as disabling injuries.
Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Injury Counts
To recover the income you’ve missed due to injury, the auto accident must be the direct cause of the injuries preventing you from working.
But that doesn’t mean that pre-existing injuries don’t count.
If your accident worsens a pre-existing ailment to the degree it prevents you from working or limits your ability to work, you can still recover the full amount of the income you’ve missed out on or your earning capacity.
You Need to Prove Your Lost Wages or Lost Earning Capacity
The best way to prove lost income to your insurance company is to submit your most recent paychecks before you were injured.
If self-employed, you’ll have to prove what you usually would have earned before the accident.
To prove this, you could submit invoices from the previous year.
You can also be compensated for tips and other non-salary benefits you are missing out on. Provided you can prove them.
It’s harder to prove lost earning capacity because your claims require some speculation about the future.
Depending on your line of work and your injuries, it should be easy to prove you will have a diminished earning capacity.
Determining How Much You Should Be Rewarded
The more challenging part is proving how much money you should be rewarded due to your diminished earning capacity.
Again, submitting paychecks before and after the injury is the easiest way to prove the extent of lost earning capacity.
It’s unfortunately not always that simple.
Some type of expert witness will be necessary to figure out a ballpark number for what you would have earned were if you weren’t disabled.
Then they deduct what you will likely make given the disability.
Evidence about your character and work habits, education, and desire to change careers can also be factored in.
It can get even more complicated if your disability is unlikely to be permanent.
If that’s the case, an educated guess is needed about how long it will last.
It is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim
Concerned about being able to receive compensation? Read our blog post, “Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Personal Injury Claim.”
Contact The Angell Law Firm
If you still have questions about lost wages in personal injury cases, or you need help recovering lost income in your car accident claim, please contact The Angell Law Firm today.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at the Angell Law Firm can help you understand the types of damages that entitle you to compensation. From there, we can determine what a reasonable payout would be for your accident claim.
Your lawyer will also help you seek maximum damages by negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement. If this does not work we are fully capable of taking your personal injury case to court.
We have secured compensation for clients in Georgia and South Carolina in a wide variety of cases.
To speak with a lawyer about getting help obtaining lost wages in your case, contact us to schedule your free consultation.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.