Lost Income After An Accident — How Can You Be Compensated?

Law Blog

When you're injured in an accident, your life and ability to earn a regular income can be seriously harmed. Whether you pursue a personal injury court case or negotiate compensation with the liable party, you'll need to demonstrate how you've suffered financial damages as a result of the accident. 

One of the most common elements of this financial loss is lost income. How do you prove lost income? What can you be compensated for? And what about future lost income? Here are some answers to your questions. 

What Compensation Can You Get?

In general, you can be compensated for any way that your accident, injuries, and recovery have caused you to miss work — or to earn less than you otherwise would have. This includes being unable to work, leaving work for medical appointments or treatment, being unable to work your full normal shift, and even having to take lower paying roles due to injury. 

You might even receive compensation even if you were paid in some other way for your missed time. So if you used company sick pay or vacation time for medical care, the insurer usually has to compensate you as well. You used those benefits due to the at-fault party's actions. 

What About the Future?

Depending on the extent of your injuries, your future earnings may also be impacted. A person who worked in a field like construction, which requires a lot of physical activity, may have to find a different line of work. If this will result in lower wages, you may make estimations about how much that will affect your income over your career. 

How Do You Prove Lost Income?

Proving past lost income is relatively easy. You may provide pay stubs, tax returns, and employer reports showing your normal or average work week as well as average wages. This is then compared to actual wages since the accident. 

Many people also keep a journal and note specific dates, appointments, treatments, missed work, and other details. These logs help you identify when you missed out on income and provide a paper trail as to why. 

Proving lost future income is more challenging. It largely consists of estimations based on the two trajectories your career would have likely taken. You may need to consult with a professional who is trained to estimate these types of financial changes. 

Where Should You Start?

Accurately gauging the economic impact of the accident on your work life can be complicated. A good resource is a personal injury lawyer in your state. Make an appointment today to start gathering the right information to ensure you receive the compensation you're due.  


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