Kendall Law Firm Blog

How Do I Recover Lost Wages After A Car Accident?




  |  posted by Kendall Law Firm   |   Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents

Among the types of compensation that may be sought in a car accident personal injury claim in Virginia is money for salary or wages you’ve lost due to being injured. The calculation of lost wages should take into account your full compensation package including the value of any benefits you did not accrue because of your injury. Depending on the extent of your injuries, a claim for lost wages may also include compensation for future losses caused by a diminished earning capacity.

The Kendall Law Firm seeks the maximum compensation available for its car accident victim clients. Whether you can recover compensation after a car accident – and how much compensation you can pursue – will depend on your injuries and the unique facts and legal issues of your accident case.

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Central Virginia or the Shenandoah Valley and have lost income because of your injuries, please contact us today by phone or through our online form for a free consultation about a potential claim.

Lost Wages You May Recover as Car Accident Damages

Car accident injuries are costly in many ways. In addition to medical and car repair bills, a seriously injured accident victim may be unable to return to work for weeks or months after the crash. Some accident victims never return to work.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless driving, you have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. A car accident claim in Virginia may include a demand for compensation for lost income due to the injury. Under Virginia law, lost income damages may be sought even if you were reimbursed for the lost income by another source.

A demand for lost income damages would be based on salary or wages the injured plaintiff would have received if he or she had not been injured. This could be calculated by taking the number of weeks the plaintiff was out of work. As an example, let’s assume you missed 10 weeks of work and your weekly pay was $1,050 as an example. You would have a claim for $10,500 in damages for lost wages.

To substantiate the claim, Kendall Law Firm would present statements from your doctors and employer to establish how long you were out of work on doctor’s orders. We would gather payroll data or income tax statements to substantiate your actual income before the accident compared to the period since the injury. An employer might be asked to submit a statement attesting to the plaintiff’s work record and comparable company sales and revenue during the plaintiff’s absence as evidence of performance-based earnings that would have been anticipated.

After an extended absence from work due to injury, an accident victim may seek compensation for the value of paid vacation and sick leave that was used and retirement benefits or other “perks” that did not accrue. For these types of calculations, we could seek the advice of economic consultants to determine what would have been earned.

Seeking Compensation for Lost Earning Capacity

gavel and lost wagesIf an individual was unable to return to work or had to take work that paid less because of a physical or mental disability suffered in a car accident, the individual could seek compensation for a reduction in earning capacity. If you were unable to work or had to take a lesser job because the accident made a pre-existing injury worse, you could still seek compensation for the full amount of your lost earning capacity.

This would require a projection of future earnings that you likely would have received had you not been injured. This projection would consider potential pay increases through the cost of living adjustments (COLA), longevity or merit raises, promotions, job changes, as well as the value of benefits not received, which could include employer 401(k) contributions and stock options.

For these calculations, our law firm works with financial planners to determine how much income our client would have earned if he or she had not suffered a career-disrupting injury. This is a more complex calculation when the disability in question is unlikely to be permanent or allows some level of compensable employment. A reasonable estimate of loss can be determined by comparing the individual’s prior income and lifestyle to their current wages and earnings ability.

A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010, was updated in 2015 and estimated that car accident led to earnings losses per injured victim ranging from $2,726 to $337,607, depending on the severity of the injury. When a fatality occurred, average lost earnings were $933,262.

Contact a Charlottesville Car Accident Lawyer

An insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident seeks to make the accident victim financially whole. Under Virginia law, this includes replacing income lost while the accident victim was recovering from injuries or while living with disabilities left by the accident.

Attorney David Kendall, the founder of Kendall Law Firm, has helped injured accident victims in Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and across other areas of Virginia seek financial security through legal claims. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless driving, take advantage of Kendall Law Firm’s offer of a free case evaluation. David Kendall cares about the health and well-being of the injured people he represents. Contact us online or at (866) 590-9773. If we can pursue a claim for you, we will move aggressively to recover maximum compensation. Contact us today.

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