Lost wages are commonly recovered in personal injury claims. Whether you have been injured in a car accident, while at work, etc., any length of time you cannot earn an income as a result, can be argued as lost wages. When it comes to proving lost income, you must be able to demonstrate the amount of time you missed from work due to your injuries, as well as how much money you would have made had you not missed work.
Four Ways to Prove Lost Wages
There are four options for demonstrating lost wages:
- W-2(s) from the previous tax year(s);
- Pay stubs from before and after the injury accident (proves the change in income);
- Wage verification from your employer: the insurance company can provide you with a “salary/wage verification form,” or you may ask your employer to write down your:
- Title and date hired;
- Statement confirming you were employed at the time of the accident;
- Normal wages or salary;
- The number of hours you typically work per week;
- Standard rate of pay for overtime;
- The dates you were/are unable to work; and,
- Bonus structure and any lost perks.
- Other income documentation if you are self-employed or a business owner: that can include tax returns, banking records for your business, checks received for your services, or accounts receivables. To protect your privacy, be sure to black line any account numbers.
When submitting a lost wages claim, a doctor’s note confirming your injuries must also be included. The note must contain details of your disability and their recommendation as to how much time you should take off of work.
What’s Covered Under Lost Wages?
The types of compensation that are covered under lost wages are:
An estimate of your total lost wages can be calculated by adding up your missed hours from work and multiplying it by your standard rate of pay. For example, if you miss 10 days of work, and you generally work eight-hour shifts and earn $20 an hour, your lost hourly wages are 10 x 8 x $20 = $1,600.
If you held a job that came with tips, and you normally reported them, they can be included as lost income. However, you will need evidence of tips on your taxes or bank account deposits.
Lost overtime can be included in your claim if you are regularly paid overtime. Past pay stubs are the best form of proof.
Proving you have or will lose bonus pay will require documentation of past bonuses, or a report from your employer detailing how bonuses are earned and any other compensation you will miss out on.
Sick Days & Vacation Days
Even if you use sick days or vacation time in order to receive payment while you recover, you have the right to recover compensation for those days. If it weren’t for your injury, you would not have been forced to use those benefits.
Missing or being unable to work may also mean you lost the perks that went along with your job. For example, you could claim the value of losing the use of a gym membership or company car.
Speak to a Houston Lost Wages Lawyer
Proving lost wages and the process for doing so can be complicated. An experienced Houston personal injury attorney at Milano Legal Group can help you by evaluating your lost wages claim and determining the amount of compensation you are owed. Call (713) 489-4270 or contact us online for a free consultation today.