You may be able to recover compensation for lost income if you were injured in an accident that left you unable to work, so long as you can prove it.
Our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers are prepared to review your claim for lost wages and other damages after an accident to see what legal options may be available to you.
Below, we discuss the types of lost income claims, and the proof needed for recovering compensation.
What is Considered Lost Income?
The definition of lost income may differ depending on the injured individual’s circumstances. Overall, it refers to the legitimate income a person relies on to cover his or her living expenses. Generally, a lost income claim would apply to your lost wages from missing work.
Does the Type of Work I Do Matter?
The type of work you do does not matter when it comes to filing a claim for lost income after an accident. However, the amount you recover could vary depending on how you are paid.
For example, hourly or salaried workers have a consistent work history that is well-documented on pay stubs and tax forms. This could make it easier to determine how much money you lost while you were unable to work due to your injuries. Employees who work on commission or tips may also have tax forms to help prove how much they earn on average, but the number may not always be accurate.
While the kind of work you do does not matter, it does matter how your income is tracked.
Can I Be Compensated for Lost Financial Opportunities?
You may be able to recover compensation for lost financial opportunities if your injuries were the direct cause of those missed chances. For example, maybe you lost out on a promotion because you missed several weeks of work while recovering from your injuries.
However, proving this may be difficult, as you would need to prove that you would have gotten the promotion or raise had it not been for your time lost at work.
How Does It Differ from Loss of Future Earning Capacity?
Lost income does not only cover wages you lost while you were unable to work due to recovering from your injuries. It sometimes may include the loss of your future earning capacity. This means that you suffered a permanent injury that left you either unable to work at all or unable to continue doing the job you used to do prior to the injury.
Claims for loss of earning capacity fall under the category of lost income but proving them may require more evidence of a permanent injury. Whereas proving temporarily lost income may require less evidence.
Types of Evidence Used to Prove Lost Income
The type of evidence needed to prove lost income depends on the type of claim you are filing.
If you suffered injuries that left you temporarily out of work, you would need to prove how much money you lost in wages, commission or tips while you were recovering from your injuries. Some evidence to prove this may include:
- Tax forms
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
If your injuries were more severe and you were required to change jobs or change professions, or you were left permanently unable to work, you would need to prove the permanency of your injuries as well as how much income you would have made had the accident not happened.
- Reduced income due to changing jobs – if you were able to take a different type of job to continue to earn an income, but you are making less money than before, you would need proof of income discrepancy from things like income statements and tax forms.
- Lost retirement benefits/pension – You may need more banking information and work history or documentation to prove you lost your benefits due to being unable to return to the workforce after your accident.
What if I Used Paid Time Off?
If you were able to use sick leave or vacation days for the time you were unable to work, meaning you did not lose out on actual income, you may still be able to recover compensation for the loss of that time.
Since you are entitled to use your paid time off as you see fit and using it to recover from an injury caused by someone else is not generally how most people would use it, you may be able to claim compensation for the time you were unable to take.
However, it is important to note that your employer would not be obligated to provide more paid time off. Instead, you would recover compensation for the hourly pay from the paid time off from the liable party. For example, if you had 40 hours of available paid time off and you used 20 of those hours to recover from a surgery, then you may claim those 20 hours (multiplied by your pay rate) as part of your lost income.
Schedule Your Free Consultation. Call Today
Proving lost income can be complicated, and injury victims may struggle to do this on their own. They may not be in good enough health to do this.
Fortunately, gathering evidence and building a strong case on behalf of injury victims is what our attorneys do daily. With over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients. Let us help you recover the compensation you need for your damages.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation: (817) 920-9000.