How Are My Lost Wages Determined?
Posted on March 2022
In America, thousands of accidents are reported each year. Oftentimes, these accidents can cause severe injuries, leaving their victims in need of medical attention and significant recovery time. Should an injured person be required to recover for an extended amount of time, they may lose wages or income they would have otherwise earned.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you lost while recovering. This is an economic loss that a qualified attorney can help you seek compensation for. Here at DeMayo Law Offices, we’re happy to help you through the process of pursuing money for lost income and are ready to walk alongside you through each step of the way.
Depending on your level of income and employment status, there are a few things that you should take into consideration when calculating your lost wages.
Defining Lost Wages
Lost wages are one of several types of economic losses for which you might seek compensation in a personal injury case. “Lost wages” are any income you lose as a result of your recovery time for an injury you received in an accident. These can play an important role in determining your overall compensation for an accident, so it’s important that you understand how they are calculated.
What to Know Before You Calculate
There are steps to take before calculating your lost wages so that you can make sure your case is well documented.
- Gather medical documentation. Anything that confirms your medical condition, injuries received, and recovery details will be important. These documents can help prove how much work you missed as a result of an injury you received in an accident. Proof that you were required to be off work will most often come in the form of a doctor’s note or medical excuse form.
- Gather income documentation. You should also be prepared to provide documentation of how much money you would have made in the time you took off from work to recover. Often, this will come in the form of a paystub, timecard, or tax form, depending on the nature of your employment.
Calculating Your Losses If You Are an Employee
If you are employed and are seeking compensation for lost wages, there are two main ways these wages are calculated:
- Hourly workers will need to multiply the number of hours of work they missed by the amount of money they earn per hour. For example, if you make $20 an hour and were absent for four days of work (each day being eight hours long), you will multiply your hourly income ($20) by the number of hours missed (32) to calculate $640 of lost wages.
- Salaried workers When you are a salaried employee and have lost income the calculation is very straightforward. You can provide documentation of the amount of wages you did not receive as a result of being unable to work due to your injuries. The general rule of lost wages is that the number of hours you miss from work should correspond with the number of days you have been written out of work by your treating physician. In other words, if you are written out of work for 4 days, you should only claim 4 days of lost wages. You should also expect to provide documentation from your employer in the form of a wage verification or affidavit, signed by the proper party (manager, supervisor or someone in Human Resources) that indicates the dates you missed from work, the hours you were scheduled to work on the days you missed, the amount of money you would have made if you had worked the days you missed and a breakdown of your pay.
Calculating Your Lost Wages When You Are Self-Employed
Determining lost wages when you are self-employed is not quite as straightforward as determining lost wages for an hourly or salaried employee. Because your income is not as regular, you will have to provide the court with your own proof of income and pricing system. This documentation will often come in the form of tax returns, 1099 forms, invoices, and correspondence with your clients. You will probably need to present a copy of your work calendar to show what work you had scheduled for the time you had to be off because of your injuries.
Although it can feel overwhelming to calculate lost wages if you’re self-employed, a DeMayo Law Offices lawyer can walk with you through the process, answering your questions and providing helpful guidance along the way.
Call DeMayo Law Offices Today
If you or someone you love has lost income as a result of recovery time for injuries received in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. The personal injury lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices are ready to help. We’ve been representing clients just like you for many years, working to secure compensation and bring justice to every case we take on.
If you’re ready to partner with us, give DeMayo Law Offices a call today at (877) 333-1000.