Posted on: 29 July 2016
After a car accident, it's not uncommon to sue the insurance company or the at-fault party for medical coverage and pain and suffering, but you may also be entitled to lost wages and income. This should be part of your injury claim package. The following guide can help you better understand what lost wages and income claims can entail.
What qualifies as lost income?
The obvious type of lost income is actual wages lost because you were unable to attend your regular job. You may also be able to sue for lost income opportunities, such as if you were unable to take advantage of a new earnings opportunity or promotion due to your injuries or recovery. Loss of vacation time and benefits that you were unable to earn due to injuries can also fall under the lost income section of your claim.
Are there restrictions on who can claim lost income?
Usually, any income that is earned legally and paid out legally can be included in a claim. This means you may not be able to make claims on "under the table" earnings but that it doesn't matter if the loss was from full-time or part-time employment. Self-employed persons can also sue for lost income – you don't have to be employed by someone else.
How are lost wages proven?
It can be relatively simple for salaried and wage employees to prove lost income. Income statements showing the missed time or use of vacation and sick pay are usually sufficient, or you can get a letter from your human resources department or employer detailing the lost income or missed hours.
What do self-employed people need to prove lost income?
For a self-employed individual, the burden of proof may be more complicated. You may need to use previous year's income statements or tax returns to show the drop in income, or you may need to demonstrate a drop in paid invoices, customer cancellation documents, or proof of business closures to document the lost income.
Are there documentation requirements for lost opportunities?
For documenting lost opportunities, you will need proof that the opportunity was offered and that you were unable to accept it due to the accident injuries. Promotion opportunities may be the easiest to prove, since your employer can provide written letters detailing the specific situation. Otherwise, you may need to show creative documentation of missed opportunities, such as emails sent to recruiters to cancel interviews.
For more help, contact a car accident attorney from a firm like Scherline And Associates.