What You Need to Know About Lost Wages After an Accident

Long recoveries after an auto accident are a common thing. During this time the victim doesn’t attend work, therefore they aren’t getting paid. Lost wages are a serious challenge in moments like these when the victim has to deal with medical bills, car reparation costs, and other accident-related fees.

So, if you were involved in an accident that caused your injuries, and you had to stay at home for a few weeks, or if the injury was major, even a few months, then you have to think of ways to get money for living. Unless you have some big savings that will cover all the bills and expenses, then you will have to file for a compensation claim that among the other fees will cover your lost wages. It’s best to do this with a New Mexico car accident attorney who has experience with cases similar to yours.

How Can You Calculate Lost Wages

Lost wages in most cases are covered by the insurance company. If another driver caused the accident, their insurance company takes responsibility for compensation for your lost wages. If your case is complex (their insurance company can’t offer a high claim), you will have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, so they will cover your lost wages from their funds.

Lost wages will be calculated by multiplying your pay rate by the amount of work you missed because of the injuries. If you were paid $20 per hour and missed 40 hours of work your lost wages will be $800.

Proving Lost Wages

After an accident, you have to prove that the injuries you sustained prevented you from working, therefore, you spent a certain period without earning.

Proving lost wages from a car accident isn’t a complex thing. Here’s how you can do it:

  • A letter from your doctor— Get a letter from your doctor that describes your injuries, treatment, and recovery process. The letter should be detailed about your injuries and how they prevented you from working.
  • A letter from your employer— This letter will prove that you missed work because of your injuries. You will also need proof of your monthly salary or hourly wage (a pay stub).

If you are self-employed or work on commission, you might have the challenge to calculate and prove your lost wages from a car accident. it’s impossible to achieve this, so you shouldn’t give up on this (having an attorney will ease things up).

Lost Wages and Auto Accident Damages

When filing a lawsuit against the liable driver, you can recover your lost wages. If you had an injured leg or arm in the accident, you were temporarily disabled to do your job. The compensation claim you’ll get will cover your lost wages for the time you weren’t able to attend work and do your job. The claim can also cover your pain and suffering, which can also be considered a severe injury that prevented you to focus on your work.

Claim for “Lost Earning Capacity”

If you ended with a disability that won’t heal or get better ever, it means that you are permanently disabled to do your job. This means you won’t be able to work and earn. In such a case you can seek a claim for ‘lost earning capacity.  Even if you still can work, you can get this claim if your disability is preventing you from having a job that pays a better wage (which wouldn’t have been the case if you didn’t get injured). Chronic pain and loss of strength and endurance also qualify as a disability that occurred after an auto accident.

Show a Reasonable Proof of Your Wages/Lost Earning Capacity

Another way to prove your lost wages is to submit the most recent paycheck you earned before the injury. If you’re self-employed you should submit the amount you usually earn (show invoices of the same period from the previous year).  You can get a claim for lost tips or other benefits besides your wage (but this can be only done if you have suitable proof). Proving lost capacity might be a challenge since nobody can predict what will happen in the future. If you have reduced earning capacity, it can be easily assumed by your injuries.

To make things go smooth, it’s best if you hire an attorney to help you with everything. Our team at FBD Law is here to review your case; call our office today.

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