What are Lost Wages?


If you’ve become the victim of a car accident, it’s unlikely that you’ll return to work right away, especially if the injuries are severe. Accident injuries tend to have several consequences, one of which is loss of income. This period when the victim is out of work can be challenging for both the injured and their family.



A personal injury lawsuit allows the injured person to recover the money they would have earned had they been able to work. That’s why it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of wage loss and how it could impact the reimbursement in your accident injury case.


Here are some important points you need to know about lost wages in the aftermath of an accident:

  • Hourly remuneration: To start with, you can total your lost income by adding up the lost man-hours and multiplying it by your hourly wages. For instance, if a person loses 20 days of work, earns $10 an hour and works 7 hours a day, their wage would amount to: 20*10*7 = $1400.
  • Lost perks:
    Your employer may offer a gym membership or vouchers for grocery. You may include these lost perks in your lawsuit.
  • Overtime: If your job demands that you to work overtime, you may also include missed overtime wages in your claim. One way to demonstrate that you generally work overtime is through the presentation of past pay checks.
  • Sick leaves: It’s quite possible that the victim is using their sick leaves to recover from the injuries. If it weren’t for the accident, these sick leaves could have been used at any other time. Claim for lost wages may also include compensation for loss of sick leaves.
  • Lost bonus: If you miss out on bonuses due to your injury, you are entitled to claim compensation. For proving lost bonus, it’s important to show documents relating to past payments.
  • Missed opportunities: Apart from the time lost at work, you’re also entitled to get reimbursement for missed opportunities. In such instances, it gets difficult to prove the specific dollar amount you have lost due to a missed job opportunity. But make sure that your insurance adjuster knows about your potential income loss. This could raise the amount of your final compensation.


How to Prove Lost Wages

The most reliable evidence for lost wages is documentation from your employer. Your claim can be explained through a letter backed by such documentation. Your employer may include the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of hiring
  • Average weekly working hours
  • Lost perks
  • Lost overtime hours
  • Days of missed work


Additional Factors

Lost income does not apply in case of non-economic damages. It’s also important to remember that lost wages are taxable. After receiving compensation for lost wages, it’s important to work with a legal counsel and an accountant to ensure you’re following the right protocol. Moreover, a strict statute of limitations applies in most cases. That’s why it’s important to act fast to ensure that your rights are protected.


Am I Eligible for Compensation if I’m Self-Employed?

If you are self-employed, proving wage loss becomes a little trickier. However, you can still pursue the claim by showing your past business records. You may also seek the assistance of an independent accountant to justify your calculations. Remember that in cases of self-employment, any loss of income needs to be backed by strong documentation.


Working with a Skilled Legal Counsel

Lost wages are a critical part of calculating compensation. However, it may get difficult to prove it in its entirety. Proving wage loss requires in-depth understanding of accounting and law and is often more complicated than proving the occurrence of other types of damage.

The best way to ensure you are able to prove wage loss is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. They are equipped to evaluate your claim and determine the best way to help you get maximum compensation.