If you get injured by someone else’s negligence, you deserve financial compensation for all of your past and future losses. This means not only your medical bills and property repairs, but also any wages lost due to your accident and injuries.
The total loss in income over your lifetime for a debilitating injury could equal hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. It is important to know how to prove your lost wages in a personal injury case to ensure you receive a fair monetary recovery.
Collect Your Most Recent Pay Stubs
Start by documenting what you normally made before your accident. Do this by gathering copies of your pay stubs for at least six months prior to the accident. If you are self-employed, you can use customer invoices or tax documents instead. You may also want to print out bank statements as proof of your income.
You can also seek financial compensation for lost employment benefits. These may include commission, bonuses, paid time off, vacation time, sick days and retirement benefits. Any income or benefits you would have earned had your accident and injury not happened can become compensable damages during a personal injury claim. Prove these losses using employment documents that list your benefits as a worker.
Obtain a Letter From Your Employer
Your employer can help you prove lost wages if your pay stubs are not enough. Ask your boss, supervisor or the human resources department at your company to send you a letter with basic facts about your employment before and after the accident. The letter should include:
- Your full name
- Your position at the company
- Your average rate of pay
- The number of hours you normally worked before your accident
- The number of days you had to miss after your accident
If you cannot return to your previous job because of a long-term or permanent injury, your employer should also include this information. Have your boss list the essential functions of your job in this scenario. This can help you prove to an insurance company that you can no longer perform them because of your injury.
Show Evidence of the Severity of Your Injuries
Submitting proof of your injuries is part of the process when proving lost wages in a personal injury case. Your injuries and the amount of work you had to miss go hand in hand. Proving your injuries using medical records, x-rays, test results, a letter from your doctor and other types of documentation can help a judge or jury see that your injuries are serious enough to take you out of work for the claimed amount of time.
Don’t Leave Out Lost Capacity to Earn
It is very important not to forget your future lost wages when pursuing financial compensation for an accident in Georgia. This is a common mistake made by injured parties. If your injuries are serious enough to take you out of work for weeks, months or longer, you have the right to demand compensation for your lost future income, called lost future capacity to earn. This is especially critical if you suffered a permanently disabling injury.
You can prove lost capacity to earn by demonstrating what you most likely would have made at your job had you not suffered the injury using evidence of your previous income. Then, you can use medical evidence to prove how long you will be unable to return to work. Do not forget to keep inflation and tax implications in mind when calculating the amount of your future lost earnings.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
It can be difficult to obtain a fair amount for your lost wages in a settlement or judgment award in Georgia. This is a complex type of calculation. If you need professional assistance with your claim, contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you gather evidence of lost wages and present it to an insurance company, judge or jury on your behalf. For more information about lost wages in a personal injury settlement, contact an attorney today.