Recovering Lost Wages in Your Personal Injury Action
If you were seriously hurt in an accident, chances are, you had to spend some time at home recovering from your injuries. Whether it was a broken leg, an injured shoulder, or a spinal injury, lengthy recovery time will result in time off work or missed employment opportunities. Even if you did not have a full time job at the time of the accident, but were actively seeking employment, an injury may have caused you economic harm by preventing you from getting hired.
An experienced attorney can help you recover your lost earnings as part of your personal injury case. At Injury Justice, we work closely with our clients from the very start of the case to make sure we explore every possible avenue of recovery. Below you will find a list of things to help you successfully prove lost earnings.
Loss of Past Earnings
If you were employed full time at the time of the injury, and the accident resulted in time lost from work, you can easily prove your damages by providing a copy of your paycheck stubs, W-2 Forms, or a note from your employer showing how much time you missed and your rate of pay.
If you are a part-time employee or self-employed, this process becomes a little more challenging. You may be able to piece together a convincing and credible picture of your earnings, but you will need to be resourceful, creative, and think outside the box. An experienced attorney can be indispensable in helping guide you through the potential pitfalls of providing either too much information, or not enough. For example, the first step would be to figure out which documents could best support your claim by showing your earnings. Such documents can include bank statements showing deposits made, tax forms from your employer, time sheets and pay-stubs, and annual tax returns. However, depending on your particular profession and stream of income, it may make more sense to structure your presentation by using one kind of document and not the other. At Injury Justice Law Firm, we routinely help clients devise effective strategies to present their case in the best possible way to secure the highest recovery.
Loss of Future Earnings
If you were hurt in an accident, and your recovery required you to miss out on opportunities to secure gainful employment, you may be able to successfully state a claim for loss of future earnings. For example, if you were in the process of being interviewed for a position of a physical education teacher, and broke your arm as a result of an auto accident, you may be able to recover a measure of compensation for the opportunity you were forced to miss out on. Similarly to the loss of past earnings, this kind of claim also needs to be documented in order to be successful. At Injury Justice Law Firm, our lawyers will contact your prospective employers (with your permission), and obtain all of the necessary documentation, such as confirming letters and declarations. We will also help establish the salary that you could have received, but for your injury.
Because loss of future earnings is more speculative than loss of past earnings, it is even more important to make sure you have skilled and experienced counsel on board to help guide you through the process and obtain the appropriate documentation. Your claims will be scrutinized very closely by the insurance company. In loss of earnings claims, preparation, strategy and presentation are everything. Make sure you do not leave extra money on the table – talk to a lawyer at Injury Justice today for a free consultation.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Unlike the above two claims, which are mainly based on your historical or prospective employment, your claim for loss of earning capacity will depend in large part on the state of your health as a result of your accident. Diminished earning capacity is best documented by a medical care professional, who can opine on exactly how and to what extent you are physically handicapped due to your residual symptoms. For example, if you were previously working as an office administrator, and sat at your desk for hours at a time, you may not be able to continue doing so after an injury caused by rear-end collision, where your back now prevents you from being able to sit for prolonged periods of time. Conversely, if you are a construction worker, and hurt your shoulder in a roll-over collision, you may need to re-train for a desk job, because you can no longer perform the rigorous physical labor required.
The second step in establishing a loss of earning capacity is to put a number on your claim. The amount claimed should not be arbitrary. It must be based on proper research and backed up by statistical evidence. At Injury Justice Law Firm, we work with the most reputable economists in Los Angeles, to help us document and prove our client’s economic damages. If you feel that your ability to perform your job was affected by your car accident or injury, call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Consult With An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Aside from your health, loss of earnings is the most important part of your personal injury case. The welfare of your family and your loved ones will depend on your ability to get compensated for the entirety of the losses suffered. Do not short change yourself by trying to settle the claim on your own. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney at Injury Justice Law Firm will help guide you through the intricacies and complexities of making a loss of earnings claim to make sure you recover as much money for you and your family as possible. Call us today at (818) 642-5229, and let us help you get your life back on track.
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