Lost wages after a car accident are one of the most important factors to consider when determining compensation. If you are unable to work for any period of time, you and your family may suffer serious financial loss.
Unfortunately, calculating and recovering lost wages after a car accident case is not as simple as it sounds. For one thing, you and your doctor may be unsure exactly how long you will be out of work. Additionally, determining how much you are owed for lost work may involve complex calculations that take into account the loss of salary, wages or benefits for both regular hours and overtime, along with any commissions you may have lost. It is very important to speak to a personal injury attorney to be sure that your lost income is calculated correctly before you file a lawsuit.
How Lost Wages Are Calculated
Calculating lost wages is sometimes very straightforward. If you work 40 hours or less per week and if your hourly rate is always the same, you can simply calculate the amount of money you lost by being unable to work due to an injury.
However, things can get complicated if you are able to return to work but then must take more time off to deal with the aftermath of your accident. The calculations can also be affected when you work a commission-based job or when you miss the opportunity to gain a promotion or secure some other benefit as a result of your injuries.
Lost income can also be difficult to calculate when your doctor determines that you will be unable to work or to do the same type of job you did in the past as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. At this point, you and your attorney must consider the true value of your career and how much you would lose over the course of your life. You must include calculations for promotions, cost of living raises, bonuses and pension benefits. You must also consider what could happen if you one day are able to return to work but must take a lower-paying job.
The Problem With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies will not agree with all computations of lost income by victims and their attorneys. It is in the best interests of the insurer to avoid paying large sums of money, so expect them to fight your calculations if they are not completely straightforward and easy to understand.
In some cases, it is in the best interests of the victim to hire a forensic economist. This expert can help the victim and his or her attorney to make accurate calculations of complex situations. A vocational rehabilitation specialist may be able to help the victim calculate the true cost of rehabilitation, as well.
Any accurate calculation must take into account your age, your physical and mental condition prior to the accident, the results of the crash on your body and mind, your history of employment, your level of education and job skills, and your economic history. Your attorney and the experts you hire will use these factors to determine a fair amount of compensation.
The Orlando auto accident attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. have been helping victims of auto and trucking accidents obtain compensation for lost wages for over 20 years. They understand the complexities involved but more importantly, they have years of experience taking on insurance companies and the various strategies they employ to deny or minimize claims. Contact them today at 800.360.7015 for a free, no obligation consultation of your case.