Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: Will I Be Compensated if I Was Too Injured to Work?

Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: Will I Be Compensated if I Was Too Injured to Work?

Any kind of injury due to an accident can be hugely disruptive to your life. Alongside the trauma of hospitalization and recovery, you might not be able to work for a prolonged period of time. Fortunately, you can gain compensation for all your lost wages and benefits, especially with the help of a good personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, KS. Let’s take a look at the lost income damages you can claim, and how to go about it.

Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: Will I Be Compensated if I Was Too Injured to Work?

Accidents usually happen out of the blue, with devastating financial consequences. On top of the unexpected medical fees, you might be prevented from working while your utility bills, mortgage payments, and living expenses still need to be paid.

This is why most personal injury claims include damages for lost wages and also lost earning capacity. The size of the settlement and how rapidly you receive it depends on how quickly you act and the lawyer you choose to fight your corner.

What’s Included in Lost Wages?

The damages you can claim for lost wages include everything you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured. This includes your regular hourly wage or salary and also any lost commissions, which are common with sales reps, insurance agents, financial advisors, real estate agents, brokers, and various other professions. You can also claim recompense for missed bonuses.

You can claim damages for lost sick days, personal days, and paid vacation days. If you’ve missed out on any benefits and perks, they’re also covered. These might include free meals, car allowance, transportation costs, life or health insurance plans, stock options, and retirement fund contributions. You can even claim damages for a raise or promotion you missed out on.

Lost Wages vs Lost Earning Capacity

With lost wages, you’re claiming compensation for lost earnings in the past: up until the date of the settlement or the trial. With lost earning capacity, you’re claiming compensation for lost earnings in the future.

An accident victim with an incapacitating physical injury or traumatic brain injury might have a reduced capacity to earn a living in the future. Lost future earnings are a little harder to prove, often requiring the testimony of a medical or occupational expert.

How To Prove Your Lost Earnings

When you’re too injured to work, the key to proper compensation is proof. There are many different ways to go about proving your lost earnings, which a lawyer will usually work out for you. Here are a few examples.

Past Pay Stubs

First and foremost, producing your past pay stubs will show what your usual earnings were up until the date of the accident. If you haven’t kept your past pay stubs, your employer’s payroll department should be able to supply copies.

Employer’s Statement 

It’s essential to obtain a detailed employer’s statement or letter laying out the number of hours you ordinarily work and your usual frequency and amount of pay. The statement should include how much overtime you usually do and your usual overtime pay rate. It should document every day and hour you missed work due to hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, and anything else related to the accident. This includes sick days or paid days off related to the accident.

The letter should also state the commissions and bonuses you lost due to the accident, benefits and perks you missed out on, and even promotions or career development opportunities you didn’t get. Anything work-related that you’re seeking damages for should be covered in your employer’s statement.

Doctor’s Statement

All the damages claimed need to be corroborated by a doctor’s statement that irrefutably details the severity and extent of your injuries and exactly how they kept you from working and earning. This statement should accompany by your medical records and bills for the relevant period.

Tax Returns

Self-employed individuals will need to provide tax returns for the previous few years, demonstrating the expected income that was interrupted. This includes any related tax forms, such as the 1099 form.

Billing Statements

Bank and credit card billing statements will also be essential for self-employed claimants. Expect to be asked to provide all your financial records, including profit and loss statements for prior years.

Expert Witnesses

In some personal injury cases, expert witnesses will be required to strengthen your claim. This is especially true if your case goes to court. One example of an expert witness is a forensic accounting expert for claimants with unusually high or complicated income structures.

Boost Your Compensation With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kansas City, KS

Personal injury lawyers have databases of experienced expert witnesses to call upon. They have the legal knowledge to negotiate effectively with insurance companies on your behalf. This usually results in a higher lost wage figure and overall settlement.

In fact, claimants who hire a personal injury lawyer receive 350 percent higher settlements than those who don’t, according to an Insurance Research Council study. They give you the support you need in a stressful period of your life, guide you through the entire process, and almost always work on a “no recovery, no fee” basis. Learn more about this here.

If you’ve lost earnings due to an accident, seek lost wages damages in your claim. With the right support, you’re very likely to receive the compensation you deserve.

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TDPel Media

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