If you or a loved one have sustained injuries and missed work as a result of a car accident, you may be wondering if you can recover compensation for your medical bills, as well as current and future wages you lost.
Fortunately, at the law firm of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, our Houston car accident attorneys are capable of helping you recover lost wages. Our team will thoroughly investigate your claim to ensure that you are able to move forward with your life and hold those who harmed you accountable.
What Are Lost Wages?
Before we get into recovering lost wages, we must first understand what lost wages are. In the case of a car accident, lost wages can be defined as the money you would have earned from your employer from the time of the incident to the date of the settlement or judgment on your claim.
In order to recover lost wages, your injuries must be a result of the car accident, and not any other event. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be able to recover the wages you would have earned had you not been forced to miss work while receiving medical treatment and recovering from your injuries.
It is worth noting that lost earning capacity and lost compensation may be considered separately since they’re different kinds of damages. Lost earning capacity has to do with any disability that leads to a lessened capacity to work. For instance, if you suffer an injury that requires you to take a position that pays less than your previous position, then you may be able to recover compensation for lost earning capacity.
Lost compensation, however, has to do with not just lost wages, but also other financial benefits (i.e. pay bonuses and other employment perks), that you would have earned had you not suffered through the accident.
How to Recover Lost Wages
In the state of Texas, you can hold the at-fault driver accountable for your lost wages and other damages following a crash, as long as you can prove they acted negligently. You may be able to win this form of payout either by filing a third-party liability insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
When it comes to recovering lost wages in a car accident case, you must make a request to your insurance company or to the other driver’s insurance company, if they’re at fault, or file a lawsuit against the other driver if necessary.
Proving Lost Wages
In order to recover lost wages, you must be able to prove that you missed work because of the injuries suffered in your crash. You will also need to have an accurate total for the amount of compensation you would have made had you not been injured.
Proving that you missed work due to your injuries requires both medical documentation which shows that you indeed suffered an injury and obtained treatment, as well as documentation about the amount of income you lost.
Proving lost wages for casual workers and those who are self-employed can be a bit more complicated. The easiest way to prove lost wages is to submit your most recent paycheck from before the injury. If you are self-employed, you’ll have to submit evidence of what you normally would have earned, such as invoices from the same period throughout the previous year.
Getting a copy of your most recent tax return will also help prove what lost wages you’re entitled to recover. You can also recover lost tips and other non-salary benefits with valid proof.
Proving Lost Earning Capacity
When you are trying to prove lost earning capacity, there will always be speculation about the future. Based on your line of work, and the type and severity of your injury, the fact that you’ll have a diminished earning capacity can usually be assumed since you only have to prove the injury, not what’ll happen afterward.
The challenging part is proving how much money you should recover. Comparing paychecks prior to and following the injury is the easiest way to prove the extent of lost earning capacity, but it is normally not that straightforward.
You will also need documentation of your injuries from your doctor. If you worked full or part-time, you’ll need an official letter from your supervisor or human resources department that includes your name and position, your pay rate at the time of the incident, and the number of work hours missed (this includes overtime).
Houston Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Recover the Compensation you Deserve
We have the resources to help guide you through the process of recovering your earnings if you’ve been forced to miss work because of someone else’s negligence. Our skilled Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns can review your situation and help you figure out if you have the right to make a claim.