In my legal practice, I make it my mission to ensure that my clients are duly compensated following an auto accident. One crucial part of this recovery process is the consideration of lost wages, which are earnings the client couldn't make due to the time spent recovering from accident-induced injuries. Here are some pivotal factors I consider when evaluating a lost wage claim.
First, I consider how you're compensated as an employee.
The nature of your compensation, whether salaried or hourly, plays a significant role in the lost wage claim. Salaried employees should evaluate their pay stubs before and after the accident. The difference in these amounts constitutes the lost wages. In the case of hourly employees, the calculation involves multiplying the hours missed from work by the hourly wage.
Second, I analyze the case of catastrophic injuries.
When dealing with catastrophic injuries, the lost wage claim becomes more complex. If you were compelled into early retirement due to accident-inflicted injuries, you might be receiving a reduced percentage of your potential benefits. In such a situation, you might be entitled to the difference between your actual retirement benefits and what you could have earned if you continued working. Factors like annual raises also come into play here.
Additionally, if a permanent injury restricts your ability to work as before, there might be a claim for diminished earning capacity. This would involve comparing the wages from your pre-accident job (that you can no longer do) with the wages from your current job (which you had to take up due to injury-induced limitations).
Third, I advise you on actions that can help substantiate your lost wage claim.
For effective documentation of your lost wage claim, always keep copies of your doctor's notes, even if your employer asks for them. These notes can significantly bolster your claim as they often aren't included in medical records. Also, promptly inform me about any work leave ordered by your doctor, as this time is eligible for compensation.
If you've been involved in an auto accident and anticipate a lost wage claim, it's vital to get legal assistance. Navigating this complex process on your own can be challenging. Having an experienced attorney like myself can make this journey less daunting and more successful.