Lost Wages Are Recoverable After Your Car Accident
As if being in a car accident wasn’t bad enough, many injured drivers lose valuable time from their work. Generally, someone whose injuries have rendered him or her unable to work for a period of time is entitled to recover damages for past wage loss. If the injuries severe, an injured driver may also recover future wage loss damages.
An injured person who has lost earnings prior to the trial or settlement is entitled to recover the difference between the amount he or she would have earned without the injury and the amount, if any, that was actually earned. Hourly workers can recover the actual loss of wages sustained as a result of the accident. Injured drivers who normally get tips, commissions, overtime, or other benefits at their work, may also recover those losses as part of their claim. For salaried workers, the analysis is very similar; to the extent the wages have been lost, i.e. not paid by the employer, the salaried employee is entitled to recover those past lost wages.
It is the injured driver’s burden to establish the lost wages with “reasonable certainty.” Often this is shown by submitting tax returns, check stubs, payroll records, time cards, or other evidence of the loss. This means that it is very important for the injured driver to gather and maintain these records to help their lawyer recover these damages. In considering future wage loss the jury considers the injured driver’s age, health condition and other factors predating the injury.
If the driver’s injuries are so serious and impact their ability to earn wages in the future, the Court can award damages for that loss as well. Loss of earning capacity, and other future compensation are valid damages in some car accident claims. An injured driver may recover for future salary increases he or she would have received, so long as the salary increases were reasonably likely to occur. In other words, the damages are based on the injured driver’s projected earnings in the higher positions. For those who are self-employed, lost earnings means net profits. To establish, with reasonable certainty, lost future earnings, the injured driver can use evidence comparing pre- and post-accident income or a comparison of the injured driver’s post-accident income with the income of similarly situated employees of the same employer.
The attorneys at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. regularly litigate personal injury cases and make claims for lost past and future wages for their clients. Our skilled attorneys will ensure that you are fully compensated for your wage loss.
If you or a loved one has been injured by another party’s negligence, contact Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt to schedule a free initial consultation. We can help you understand your legal options and how you can recover for your medical bills and other damages suffered from the accident. If you need assistance, or are interested in learning more, please contact us by phone at (201) 820-6001 in New Jersey or (212) 692-0200 in New York. We can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and on the Internet. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no risk to you.