Many people are involved in car accidents and other accidents every day in California. If you are involved in an accident in which someone else is at fault, you may have cause to file a personal injury claim. If you have had to miss work due to your injury, whether because you were physically unable to work or you had to attend doctor appointments, your compensation should include lost wages.
For some, it is easy to determine exactly what was lost but in many cases it is not. Your personal injury attorney is your best resource to determine what would be reasonable, but you can also read on to learn more about the options.
How to Prove Lost Wages
Even if you were unable to work for a short time, if you have lost money you would have otherwise earned then you deserve to be compensated for it. In order to get this money, you will need to prove that the accident caused the injuries that then prevented you from working. You would need to prove that you would have made money if you had not been injured.
Evidence may include medical documentation confirming that you are not able to do your job, recent tax returns, W-2s, paystubs, and even a letter from your boss showing your wages and employment, along with any benefits you used as a result of the accident.
Determining Lost Wages for Hour Workers
If you are paid an hourly wage and work a relatively consistent number of hours per week or month, then it is likely not difficult to calculate your lost wages – you will simply look at the wage you are paid and multiply it by the number of hours you were not able to work. This will be the lost wages you will seek recovery for.
Determining Lost Wages for Salaried Employees
This requires an additional step. Start by taking your annual salary and dividing it by 2,080 – this is the number of work hours in a year assuming 40-hour workweeks. This will give you an hourly wage. Then multiply this by how many hours you have missed. Do this even if you were technically paid via PTO, paid sick leave, or vacation – you should still be reimbursed for those lost benefits.
Determining Lost Wages for Self-Employed People
This can be a challenge. In this event, you will likely look to claim lost income instead of lost wages. This requires the help of an experienced attorney who has dealt with these situations. For example, we will need to submit documents that support your request for lost income. This may include 1099-forms, invoices, receipts, and other similar documents.
No matter how you make your living, if you were injured due to someone else acting negligently or recklessly then you deserve to be compensated for your financial losses. Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.