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How Are Lost Wages Calculated After a Car Accident?

Posted on July 25, 2022 in

When an individual is injured in a vehicle accident, they may need time away from work so they can fully recover. Unfortunately, this can lead to significant financial difficulties, particularly if a person is unable to earn any wages while they are not working. Here, we want to discuss how lost wages are calculated after a vehicle accident occurs. It is crucial for this to be included in the insurance settlement or jury verdict so that crash victims can recover the compensation they are entitled to.

Examining the Temporary Lost Wages

One of the most common scenarios after a vehicle accident occurs is that an individual is unable to work for a short period of time. This may be due to having to deal with the emergency medical issues as well as a brief recovery period. For example, if an individual sustains whiplash or concussion, which are seen as somewhat minor injuries, they may need to take a week or so off of work.

However, there are situations where individuals need a longer time away from work in order to recover. If an individual breaks their arm, and if this significantly impacts their ability to carry out their job-related duties, they may need weeks or even months away from work.

When examining lost wages caused by a car accident, there are various pieces of documentation that need to be gathered. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Weekly pay stubs from the time frame before the accident
  • Letters from an employer stating how the injuries have impacted the ability to work
  • Tax returns and bank statements

All of this should be gathered up and presented to the insurance carrier to prove the wages the crash victim is unable to earn as a result of the injury caused by the incident. This should be part of the overall vehicle accident settlement.

Looking at Lost Earning Capacity

There are situations where individuals are able to return to work after recovering, but not at the same capacity as before the car accident injury occurred. For example, if a person has significantly injured their leg to the point where it is hard for them to walk, they may not be able to return to the same type of employment as before. It is not uncommon for car accident victims to have to take lower-paying jobs as a result of the injuries they sustain.

We can consider this a loss of earning potential, and this should also be compensated. When a person is able to work, but at a reduced earning capacity, the crash victim and their attorney would gather all the same types of evidence to show lost wages and then show proof of how they are not able to earn that same level of income anymore. In this case, the settlement should include compensation for the difference between their previous wages and the wages they’re able to currently earn.

Long-Term Disability Issues

There are times when car accident victims sustain a long-term disability and are unable to work at all. In the short term, this lost income would likely be reflected in a car accident settlement. However, it will be necessary for these individuals to examine various avenues for long-term disability insurance. This could include compensation through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system, insurance provided by an employer, or private insurance an individual has paid in to.

Call us today to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.