You may have lost part or all of your income because of the injuries you sustained in a car accident. The bills may be piling up and your injuries may keep you from earning the same income that you did prior to the crash. You deserve to make a full recovery for your loss, and that includes being compensated for your lost income. In order to do that, first you need to understand everything that can be included in that loss, because it may be more than you think.
Lost Income May Include More Than Just Your Lost Paychecks
Lost income may include all of the following that are applicable to your situation:
- Income that you have already lost. You can recover for any income that you have been unable to earn because of your injuries beginning on the date you were hurt.
- Partial lost income if you can no longer earn the same amount as you did prior to the crash. If you have to work a different job or if you can no longer work the same hours that you did prior to the crash, you may be earning less money than you did prior to the crash. Since this employment and income change can be directly attributed to the accident and your injuries, you may be able to recover for the difference between your income prior to the accident and the income that you’ve been able to earn since the accident.
- Future lost earning capacity. You can’t predict the future, but your doctors may be confident that you will not be able to return to a job where you earn the same salary that you did prior to the accident or that you will not be able to advance in your field in the same way you would have if you had not been hurt. This loss of future earning capacity is a significant loss, and depending on your age and your job it can add up to a lot of money.
- Bonuses and earning incentives. The value of past, current and future bonuses and earning incentives can be significant. However, in order to recover for these losses, you will need to prove that you would have earned them. Your history of receiving bonuses or other earning incentives, as well as other factors, will be important.
- Lost benefits. The health benefits, retirement benefits, tuition reimbursement, and any other benefits that you had through your employer are valuable. If you are no longer employed, if you no longer work enough hours to qualify for benefits, or if you now work for another employer who doesn’t offer such benefits, you may be able to recover damages for the past, current, and future value of these benefits.
- Income you earn from being self-employed. You do not have to be employed by someone else in order to recover for lost income. You are entitled to past, current, and future lost income if you are self-employed and you are unable to work or to earn the same income you once did because of your car accident injuries.
In order to convince an insurance company to provide you with a fair recovery or a court to provide you with a just verdict, you are going to have to establish the value of your lost income damages.
Important Evidence to Have when Proving Lost Income
Your word won’t be good enough to prove the value of your lost income damages. Instead, you should provide evidence such as:
- Copies of your tax returns and paychecks. This will establish what you’ve earned in the past.
- Testimony from your employer. Your employer can testify about things such as how your injury has impacted your work.
- Testimony from expert witnesses. These witnesses may include doctors, economists, and experts in your field of work. They can help establish future lost earning capacity and other damages.
Your compensation for lost income is important after a car accident. You shouldn’t have to suffer the financial consequences of being out of work, or being unable to earn the same income that you did prior the crash, because someone else was negligent and caused a car accident that left you injured. However, you will have to present the right evidence and advocate for your full recovery in order to get the compensation you deserve. If you would like to learn more about your rights and about how to protect them, please start a live chat with us today.