Can I File a Claim for Lost Wages After an Accident?

man holding a l"lost wages assistance" signAccident victims who miss time at work to recover from injuries may be able to file a claim for compensation for lost wages, in addition to other damages like medical bills.

Let our auto accident lawyers in Sacramento review your claim to see what legal options may be available to you if you lost income while you were in the hospital or needed to be on bed rest while your injuries healed. Our goal is to secure full compensation for all damages suffered, including lost wages.

Below, we discuss the type of lost income you may be able to claim and what evidence you need to prove it.

Understanding Lost Wages Claims

For some injury cases, a claim for lost wages may be a large portion of the demand for compensation, especially for claims involving more serious injuries that require surgery or long recovery periods.

It is important to understand that there are different types of claims for lost wages. First, there is the claim for income that is lost while a person is recovering from his or her injuries, resulting in a temporary disruption to his or her household income. Compensation for these types of lost wages would be recovered only for the time a person was unable to work.

For accident victims who suffer life-altering injuries, claims for loss of future earning capacity may also be possible.

Lastly, there are claims for lost financial opportunities, which may fall under both the category of past and future income, depending on the situation. A financial opportunity could be a job prospect, an opportunity at a sale for commission, or even a promotion. The list of possibilities is extensive, which is why supporting evidence is necessary.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Lost Wages?

Proving you lost time at work due to an injury may not be as complicated as proving how much money you lost. You would need to have your employer provide proof that you were not at work on days that you were supposed to be and that the reason for it was because of your injuries.

This could be done by having the Department of Human Resources provide written proof or show records of the time you requested off to go to a doctor’s appointment. Failing that, your immediate supervisor may be able to testify on your behalf about the time you missed at work.

However, proving you missed out on a financial opportunity may be more complicated, as you would need to prove that you would have made more money had you gone to a job interview, had the opportunity to make a sale, or would have been promoted had it not been for your injury.

Evidence to Prove the Value of Your Lost Wages

It may be easier to calculate the value of lost wages for some jobs over others. For example, proving you lost a week’s worth of work for a salaried or hourly position may be easier because of the consistency of a person’s income in these fields of work. Something as simple as a weekly or bi-weekly paystub could be used to prove how much you would have made had you been at work.

On the other hand, a week’s worth of work for someone whose income relies on commission or tips may be more difficult because the pay may be more inconsistent. However, it is not impossible to calculate. For these types of jobs, our attorneys may be able to use your W2 or income tax information to compare what an injury victim would have made in a specific week the prior year. For example, a hospitality worker who lost time at work during a holiday could use the tips he or she made the prior year to argue for a certain amount of compensation for lost wages.

What if I Used Paid Time Off to Recover from my Injuries?

Some injury victims may decide to use Paid Time Off (PTO) hours to recover from an injury to not fall behind on bills due to lost income. While not every injury victim may be able to do this, the ones who do may also be able to recover those lost hours. An attorney may be able to help you recover the cost of those hours. Say you used 40 hours of PTO to heal from your injuries, and you make $20 an hour. Our attorneys would work with you to recover the $800 for that week.

Need Help Filing a Claim? Call Us Today

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages, including lost wages.

Our attorneys are prepared to help you file a claim so you may recover the maximum compensation. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

Call 916-777-7777 today to get started.