If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence and you are unable to work because of those injuries, you have the right to pursue compensation for your lost income. However, you must be able to prove your injuries left you incapable of working and show how much income you lost.
Our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento are prepared to help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case, including how much income you lost during the course of your recovery.
We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing while we work on your case.
There are various definitions for lost income. Generally, lost income refers to any legitimate wages an injury victim loses because he or she is unable to perform or be present at his or her job.
However, lost wages may include other payments that are not the same as hourly wages. For example, some people may earn a part of their wages from one or more of the following:
Lost income may also encompass the loss of earning capacity and future lost income. For example, an injury that forces a person to seek alternative employment, resulting in a pay cut.
A doctor needs to say your injuries prevent you from working or that you can only work with certain restrictions. While the doctor may base his or her conclusions partly on what you report about pain and other symptoms, your opinion about your injuries cannot excuse you from work. The doctor must determine you cannot work or must work in a reduced capacity.
Without a note from a doctor, your employer may terminate your employment because you have stopped showing up. A note from a doctor should also describe your limitations and accommodations you will need to work, even if you are only working in a reduced capacity. Your doctor can also explain how long your recovery may take and when restrictions on your work may be lifted.
Unfortunately, some workplaces may not be able to accommodate a worker’s restrictions. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodations, this may not be possible with every job. Sometimes a job is physically demanding and not being able to meet those demands means the worker cannot continue to be employed in that industry. In these situations, you may need to find work in a new industry.
Tax documents, like a W-2, or pay stubs can be used to prove lost wages. Bank statements may also be helpful if your wages are subsidized by cash payments, like tips, or a commission check.
If you are a contractor or self-employed, your 1040 tax form may also help prove the value of your lost income claim, as this form helps show your profits and losses for the year.
Lost work opportunities may be more difficult to prove for a lost income claim since these are often left up for speculation. However, your employer may be able to testify on your behalf regarding your performance at work and whether you were being considered for a promotion or some other work opportunity you would no longer qualify for due to your injuries.
Injury victims who use their paid time off to recover from their injuries may not get payment for the hours they used, but you may be able to get compensation for the hours you would have used for personal reasons, including other medical emergencies not associated with an injury.
For example, if you are allotted a set number of eight-hour workdays for sick leave per year and you use up that time for your injuries, the liable party could be financially responsible for paying you however much you would be paid for those eight days if you had used the time for other reasons not associated with the accident.
Every case is different, so it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim and see what legal options may be available to you.
Our attorneys are prepared to review your claim to see how we may be able to help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost income and other damages.
Call 916-777-7777 today.