Proving Lost Wages Resulting From A Car Accident

December 11, 2020

In addition to medical and property damage expenses, lost wages can be an important part of getting fair compensation in a personal injury case. If you suffer a serious injury, broken bones, or required a hospital stay, you will likely be required to stay out of work by your doctor. Even if you don’t suffer serious injuries or broken bones, you may still be unable to return to work for some period of time. If you miss work due to a car wreck that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to lost wage recovery.

Typically, lost wages are recovered by filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s carrier or your own insurance carrier, if you are making a PIP uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.

Types of Lost Wages:

Past Lost Wages – If you were injured in a car accident and your doctor required you to take off work, and you were not paid for that period of time, you can typically recover these wages in your personal injury claim. You may also be able to recover lost wages for the time you missed while going to doctor’s appointments. It’s important that you keep track of any and all doctor’s notes that excuse you from work, and properly document any doctor’s visits and days you missed due to your accident.

Future Lost Wages – Future lost income may be requested if you suffer traumatic injuries, such as broken bones, paralysis, spinal injuries or a doctor says you are unable to perform future work due to your condition. If the victim dies and the claim involves wrongful death, heirs may recover future lost income based on work history, earning history, job title, and experience. In some cases, a vocational economist or other expert witnesses may be called to testify.

Diminished Earning Capacity – This type of lost wage recovery refers to someone who may be able to return to work but no longer to the extent he or she was able prior to the accident. This may include those who need to take a lesser paying position, given new limitations or restrictions, or those who may only be able to work part-time going forward. Expert witnesses may be able to help quantify the extent of earning capacity and future earning power.

Proving Lost Wages

In order to recover lost wages, you must be able to provide supporting documentation. Following are a few common ways to prove your damages:

  • Lost wage form filled out by your Human Resources Department
  • Official company letterhead with the signature of your boss confirming lost wages
  • Tax returns and bank statements (especially useful for self-employed individuals and independent contractors)
  • Customer letters confirming that work could not be performed (also useful for contractors and self-employed people)
  • Evidence of past earnings to prove estimated future lost wages
  • Expert witness testimony may be required to prove future lost wages and diminished earning capacity. In serious cases, a doctor’s testimony may be necessary, or a vocational economist may be required to estimate your lost wages and testify on your behalf.

Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you seek legal advice to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. An experienced accident attorney can help you collect the documentation you need, including expert witness testimony if needed to prove lost wages and diminished earning potential. The attorneys at Saladino & Schaaf have decades of experience representing Kentuckians who have been injured while on the job.  Call us today at 270-444-0406 (Paducah, KY) or 270-753-1529 (Murray, KY), or contact us online for a free consultation.




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Lost Wages After Car Accident




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