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  • Writer's pictureGregory Sandler

How Will I Get Back My Lost Income After My Crash

If you have survived your crash, you most likely have been out of work and have lost income – And you are concerned about whether you are going to get that money back.  It is a very real and very distressing consequence of being harmed by someone else.  The losses and harms related to the inability to work may range from taking time off to attend medical appointments to a total inability to return to your chosen career.  GOOD NEWS - In Virginia, losses related to being out of work and those affecting your employment are recoverable as part of your overall claim.  They are an important part of your damage claim and your personal injury attorney must include them in formulating what the value of your claim will be.

Here are some key points related to the issue of lost wages and income, some or all of which just might apply in your case:

1. Time Off Work:   After a car crash, victims may need to take time off from work to recover from injuries or attend medical appointments. The duration of time off can vary depending on the severity of injuries.  Data from your employer documenting the dates, hours and money lost needs to be obtained from your employer to submit as part of your claim.  If you have more than one job, all of those affected should be included.  If you receive commissions, then obtaining a history from which we can project what your losses would be, can be utilized to provide an estimate for the insurance company.

2. Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation:   Injured individuals often need time away from work to undergo medical treatments, surgeries, physical therapy, or rehabilitation programs, impacting their ability to perform job responsibilities.  This consideration applies for those survivors who might have been able to return to work after the crash, but later have to loss time due to recovery from surgery.

3. Diminished Earning Capacity:  Some injuries may lead to a long-term or permanent reduction in an individual's ability to earn income.  If your career demands certain physical abilities and you lose those abilities due to your injury, then although you might be able to work at some other position, your ability to earn the same money may have been severely affected.  This loss of your capacity to earn is a proper measure of your damages.  This could result from disabilities, impairments, or limitations caused by the crash.

4. Lost Opportunities for Career Advancement:  Related to the Diminshed Capacity above is the effect of long-term consequences of your injury or extended periods of absence from work due to injuries resulting in missed opportunities for career advancement, promotions, or salary increases.

5. Self-Employed Individuals:  For self-employed individuals, the impact on income can be particularly pronounced, as they may not have access to paid sick leave or disability benefits.  Although there is a much more complicated process in calculating and proving losses from self-employment, the harms and losses may be quite devastating, including the total loss of your business.  More and more, we are finding that self-employed clients include those who earn their living driving for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, GrubHub and other “gig” employees, who rely heavily on these supplemental sources of earnings.  These losses can be quantified and should be included in your claim.

6. Future Earning Capacity:  Unfortunately, in cases where injuries are permanent, or which will result in a permanent loss of function, damages for the loss of earnings may continue well past the time when the case is settled or goes to trial.  In these cases where, due to permanent injuries, there is an impact on the individual's future earning capacity, a projection of future loss will be necessary to determine appropriate compensation.

To seek compensation for lost wages, it's crucial to document the time off work, including medical records, doctor's notes, the medical reason for the time out of work and any communication with the employer regarding the absence.  Employer’s records, and in cases of self employment, the Employee’s records, including prior tax, W-2, 1099 and other income records will be necessary to prove the amount of the loss.

When consulting with a personal injury lawyer, addressing the issue of lost wages and income is an essential part of the overall compensation claim. The attorney can help assess the impact on the victim's ability to earn income, gather relevant documentation, and work towards securing fair compensation for these economic losses.

If you have any questions call 757-627-8900.

Fair Compensation After a Crash

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