How to Claim Lost Wages from a Car Accident
Feb 10, 2023 | CHASENBOSCOLO
Suffering injuries in a car accident can be painful, emotionally traumatizing, and financially devastating. On top of paying for repairs to your car, your medical care may cost tens of thousands of dollars. To make matters worse, there is a strong chance you will lose wages due to missing some time at work while you recover. This combination of factors can lead to an overwhelmingly stressful financial situation.
Filing a personal injury claim can allow you to recover financial losses, including the wages you have lost as a result of your accident-related injuries. Yet the process of claiming lost wages can often feel confusing. Here’s everything you need to know.
Calculating Lost Wages
Determining how much you deserve to recover in lost wages depends on how you are paid.
If you are an hourly employee, you will multiply the number of hours you missed by your hourly rate.
If you receive an annual salary, you have an additional step to take in your calculation. First, you will divide your salary by 2,080, the number of working hours in a year. You will then multiply the result of that calculation by the number of work hours you missed to see how much you should claim.
An attorney can help determine the amount of lost wages you should seek.
Providing Evidence for Your Injuries
One of the most surprising occurrences for many people filing car accident claims is when the at-fault party or their insurance company attempt to undermine the extent of a claimant’s injuries. Insurance companies do everything they can to limit the amount of money they have to pay, including arguing that the harm you suffered is not substantial enough to require you to miss work.
One way of defending your claim from this type of assertion is to obtain a written statement from your medical professional. When you receive medical care, your physician can determine whether your injuries will prevent you from carrying out your usual work responsibilities for any length of time. Once they have made such a determination, the written evidence of their medical opinion can attest to the validity of your claim.
Furthermore, you should maintain all medical records relating to your injuries, including:
- Receipts and invoices for medical care
- Results of diagnostic tests and scans (x-ray, CT, MRI, etc.)
- Medication prescriptions
- Records associated with operations and other procedures
The more information you can provide about your injury’s severity, the stronger your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
Demonstrating Your Missed Work and Lost Wages
The insurance company will also need to see evidence that you have missed time from work because of your injuries. The following documents can support your claim:
- An employer letter stating how much work you missed and when
- Timesheets or time cards
- Pay stubs
- Income tax documents, such as returns and W-2s
- Information about your employment benefit policy
Seeking Compensation for Paid Time Off Used
If your employer offers you benefits such as sick days, vacation days, personal days, and other forms of paid time off (PTO), you may end up using up much or all of this time while you recover from your injuries. However, you should be free to use this time at your discretion rather than as a result of another party’s negligence.
When calculating the compensation you deserve for lost wages, you can also include any paid benefits you need to use while recovering from the accident.
Claiming Lost Income from Self-Employment
You are still eligible to pursue compensation for lost income even if you are not a W-2 employee. Yet because independent contractors have fluctuating incomes, proving the amount of money you have missed out on due to your injuries can be more complicated. Gathering the following documents can help demonstrate what you deserve to recover:
- Income tax returns from the previous year
- 1099 forms
- Bank account statements
- Documentation of contracts and engagements your injuries have prevented you from carrying out
- Proof of canceled appointments
If you are unsure how to put together a strong claim, an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand how much money you are eligible to seek and what you need to do to get it.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you have missed work due to accident-related injuries, contact the experienced attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO. Our seasoned legal team helps injured individuals in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., pursue the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (301) 220-0050 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options.