Recovering Compensation for Lost Wages After an Indiana Car Crash
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jan 13, 2022 in Car Accidents
Accident victims who suffered injuries severe enough to cause them to miss work for an extended period may be eligible to file a claim for lost wages. You will need evidence to prove your injuries kept you from working and documentation of your rate of pay and the hours you missed.
Our South Bend auto accident lawyers are prepared to help you build a strong case to help you recover maximum compensation after suffering an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
When Should I File a Claim for Lost Wages?
Not every accident case demands a claim for lost wages. Sometimes an accident victim who suffered a minor injury never missed work.
However, accident victims who needed to take time off work while waiting for their injuries to stabilize or missed significant time because of doctors’ appointments may be able to claim compensation for lost wages.
Proving Your Injuries Kept You Out of Work
You must prove you were either unable to work or that you had to attend doctors’ appointments during working hours. You may need various pieces of evidence to validate your lost wages claim, including:
- Medical records
- Testimony from your doctor
- Employment records showing your absence at work
Our attorneys are prepared to help gather this evidence and include it in your demand letter to the liable party. The demand letter is the document sent to the liable party’s insurance company demanding compensation.
Evidence to Prove Your Lost Wages
In addition to proving you suffered an injury that caused you to miss time at work, you also need to establish the amount of money you lost. The process may be different depending on the type of job you have or whether you are self-employed.
Claims for Salaried or Hourly Wages
Proving the value of a lost wages claim is relatively straightforward for accident victims who are paid an annual salary or make their income based on an hourly wage. These workers have paystubs documenting the amount of money they made each pay period.
Claims for Commission-Based or Tipped Wages
If your income centers around commission or tips, establishing the amount of money you lost is more difficult. You would need to provide banks statements to compare how much you made in the time you were unable to work to the amount you made the year before.
For example, a server who loses a week of tips over a busy holiday weekend may be able to show a bank statement from that same holiday weekend the prior year.
For commission workers, a paystub or W-2 may be helpful, as commission pay is usually included in these documents.
Claims for the Self-Employed
Self-employed accident victims may have the most difficult time proving how much they could have made in wages had they not been injured, as there is no W-2 or official paystub. However, there are other tax documents that may be used to prove how much money you lost.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you gather all the necessary paperwork to help establish the full value of your lost wages if your injuries kept you from earning an income for a short time.
What if I Used My Paid Time Off?
Many hourly and salaried employees can use sick time or Paid Time Off (PTO) while recovering from an illness or injury. If you need to use your paid leave you may be able to include this in your lost wages claim.
Although an employer is not obligated to “refund” your time, the liable party may have to pay you cash for the hours you lost due to their negligent actions.
For example, if you use a week’s worth of sick leave to recover from your injuries, you are still being paid for your time off work, but since you would not be able to use that week in the future, the liable party may have to pay you for that lost paid leave.
Other Factors to Consider When Filing a Claim for Lost Wages
Some other factors that you might need to consider when filing a claim for lost wages is if you are losing out on a promotion or raise due to an extended absence at work. This may be more common for injury victims with a long recovery period. However, this comes with more required evidence to prove you missed out on these things due to your injuries, which can also be complicated.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Today
If you need help proving your injuries left you unable to work for an extended period, you should strongly consider speaking to our knowledgeable attorneys as soon as possible.
With decades of experience, our attorneys are prepared to review your claim to see what legal options may be available to you so we may help you maximize your compensation.
Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.