Suffering an injury that prevents you from going to work is a one-two punch that can knock you out, financially speaking. As if the pain and physical limitations weren’t enough, missing work due to an injury can also be devastating to your personal finances. If you’ve missed work after an accident that was caused by negligence, chances are you are wondering what to do next.
The good news is, you may be able to sue the person or entity that caused your injury. Your lost wages are just one of several expenses you may be able to recover. Keep scrolling to learn more about personal injury cases and how a loss of income is calculated.
The Types of Personal Injury Cases
There are many different types of personal injury cases that take place in courtrooms across the United States every day. In car crash cases, ideally, the at-fault driver will have auto insurance. If they do, this could cover your lost wages. This usually applies to situations where the time lost is a matter of days or at most a few weeks.
However, injuries that are sustained in a car crash or other accident may be more serious and could lead to you missing months of work, along with any promotional opportunities you could have had during that time.
For example, while a few broken ribs may keep you indoors for a couple of weeks, more serious injuries like spinal damage may require months of recovery and rehabilitation. In the most serious cases, you could lose your ability to work altogether.
Calculating Lost Wages Due to an Injury
There are a number of factors to consider when calculating lost wages due to injury, so it’s important to break down a few categories that will lead to different outcomes in the potential awarding of damages.
If you are employed, then you are eligible to be compensated for lost wages beyond your standard salary or hourly rate. This can include:
- Bonus pay
- Overtime pay
- Commission pay
In most cases, the court will consider your previous six months of work and salary when determining the most accurate figure to award you for lost wages.
Loss of Future Potential
Remember, when an injury prevents you from developing your professional skills, this is also something that you and your attorney will want to discuss. A statement from your employer may be able to prove your upward trajectory at your place of work prior to being hurt to show the court the extent of the career opportunities that have been lost.
If You Are Self-Employed
If you are self-employed, the calculation becomes more complex. Often, your attorney and the court are going to look further back into your financial gains to determine what you would have made if the accident had never happened. In this type of situation, any previous contracts or agreements to perform future work are important to show to your attorney.
If a Wage-Earner in Your Home Has Died
In the event that a close relative has died in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, the spouse or other dependents of the deceased may be eligible to sue for their lost income and receive substantial damages.
If You’ve Lost Wages Due to an Accident
Accidents can be a traumatic experience in anyone’s life that are only made worse by the potential economic consequences to you and your family. If you are financially suffering due to an injury accident or fatality, you may want to consider reaching out to an attorney to learn more about your options. Your lawyer can tell you what steps to take next.