How to Claim Lost Wages from a Car Accident
Posted on Saturday, April 1st, 2023 at 10:25 am
Being in a car accident is stressful. The injuries that car accidents cause are unforeseen, and their effects may last for months, if not longer. These injuries can have devastating financial results, especially when they cause you to miss work and lose income.
If another driver’s carelessness caused your injuries, you can seek compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, you could file a lawsuit in Alabama’s civil court. A skilled and capable Alabama car accident lawyer can help you file a claim for any losses resulting from an accident, including lost wages.
Compensation Available in an Alabama Car Accident Case
In a car accident claim, you can pursue compensation for any monetary loss you suffer due to the accident. You can obtain money to cover your medical bills, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. You can receive money for the wages you would have earned during your recovery while receiving medical treatment after the accident.
What Are “Lost Wages?”
In an accident case, lost wages refer to the employment income you didn’t earn because you were off work due to your injuries from the date of the incident until the date you returned to work. Lost wages are calculated based on your pay rate and other financial benefits you receive along with your employment.
To receive money for lost wages, you must prove that you were forced to miss work because of the injuries caused by the car accident. You may not claim lost wages in a car accident case if you miss work for another reason unrelated to the accident.
In addition to lost wages, you can also claim compensation for lost earning capacity. This loss refers to your diminished capacity to work caused by the accident. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work in any job in the future, you could also pursue compensation for lost future income.
How to Claim Lost Wages
Claiming lost wages after you were injured in a car accident requires filing an insurance claim and possibly filing a personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies will try to deny or minimize your claim by arguing your injuries did not warrant missing time from work. A skilled Alabama car accident lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies and argue your right to the compensation you deserve, whether in an insurance claim or in court.
Proving Lost Wages
To prove lost wages, you must present proof that your injuries caused you to miss work. You must also provide evidence that shows your pay rate and the amount of time you missed work. When submitting a claim for lost wages, your best sources of proof include documentation from physicians and your employer.
You can use the records and reports of your treating physicians to prove that you suffered injuries due to the accident, which required you to miss time from work.
You will need your paystubs from before the accident to prove lost wages. You can submit your W-2s or tax returns if these pay records are unavailable. If you are self-employed, you can use any documentation to help reasonably and accurately establish the correct amount of income you would have earned during your recovery. These relevant documents include tax returns, 1099s, receipts, invoices, profit-and-loss statements, bank statements, or correspondence.
In addition to paystubs, you should submit a statement from your employer confirming essential details about your employment. This statement should contain your pay rate and the number of hours you work during each pay period. It should also include a list of the days you missed work.
Lost Earning Capacity and Future Lost Wages
Proving lost earning capacity is less straightforward and more complex than proving the amount of your lost wages. Precisely establishing your diminished capacity to work requires some speculation about the future.
Factors such as your job type, injury type, and the severity of the injury will help determine lost earning capacity. Typically, you’ll need an expert witness with knowledge of vocational rehabilitation to identify how much your earning capacity has decreased due to the injury.
To recover compensation for future lost wages, you’ll need to show what your wages at your job would have been throughout the course of your career. The amount of compensation you request should take into account raises, promotions, and other elements of the salary you’d be unable to earn because of the injury.
Contact an Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, and you missed time at work that you didn’t get paid for because of it, you can claim the employment income you lost in an insurance claim or lawsuit. An experienced Alabama car accident attorney at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you learn about your legal options so you can do what’s best for you and your family. Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP at (205) 324-1212 or contact us online for a free consultation today.