How Do You Determine Lost Wages From A Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, then you know all about the uncertainty that results from that fateful moment. Will you recover fully? Will you still have the same earning capabilities that you did before your accident? Will your insurance cover the injuries that you incurred? If you were at fault, will your insurance cover any other injuries that resulted from the accident? What about the time spent recovering or going through physical therapy, when you’re unable to work? You’re in luck: the proper legal counsel will help you determine all this and more. Here’s how to determine the wages you lose after suffering an injury in a car accident.

Documents You Will Need

First of all, it’s important to know that you need the right documentation in order to prove that you missed out on wages due to your car accident. You can’t just take the time off from work. In order to show that you missed this time as a result of injuries sustained, you need to keep track of your medical expenses and ensure that the medical personnel looking after you have accurately described the ordeal. A doctor’s note will describe this in full, and provide an estimate of how much time a given injury will take to heal before you can reasonably be expected to return to your job.

Once that step is completed, you need to gather a few more things just in case: a month’s worth of paystubs in order to determine average earnings, a recent tax return or W-2 in order to provide similar information, and a letter directly from your employer. The letter should describe your employment status.

How to Calculate Lost Wages

If you make an hourly wage, then determine the number of hours you weren’t able to work. Multiply the wage by the number of hours you missed, and you have the lost wages calculation.

If you are on salary, then it gets more complicated. Your salary must first be divided by the number of work hours in a year (2080). After that number is calculated, you can multiply it by the hours missed.

These are basic calculations, but it can get more complicated if you were on the verge of a new promotion or another form of raise. This depends on where you live. Many states limit the recovering of lost wages to net income instead.

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These are the basics, and every situation is unique. If you were permanently disabled and suffer an injury that can reduce your productivity, then in all likelihood you won’t be able to achieve the same promotions and merit raises that you would have otherwise. If you believe this applies to your case, then be sure to discuss your circumstances with a qualified car accident law firm or personal injury attorney.