Lost Income and Your Injury Settlement
When you suffer a personal injury and receive a settlement, that settlement will be broken down into several parts to accommodate for the wide range of losses you may have suffered. One part of your compensation may be for lost income. However, it can be difficult to know what you are entitled to and how to calculate it.
We’re here to help you. As you try to figure out what you’re owed and what you’re likely to receive, make sure you choose the right personal injury lawyer for your claim. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.
What Type of Income Can You Recover?
A lot depends on the type of work you do, how well your income is documented, and how you are paid. For example, assume you work a standard job with an annual salary. You could ask for the amount you would have earned, based on your set salary. The same is true if you earn an hourly wage and work roughly the same number of hours each week.
If you work in a tipped position, you may be able to recover the amount you likely would have earned in tips during the time you were forced to take off.
Self-employed income can also be compensated in a personal injury claim. However, both tipped income and self-employed income may be harder to prove. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible—it just means that working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can really help.
Proving Your Lost Wages
In order to include compensation for lost wages in your claim, you must be able to prove what you’ve lost.
If you earn an annual salary, you can divide your income by 52 to get your weekly income. You would then multiply that amount by the number of weeks you took off of work in order to figure out what you were owed.
If you are paid an hourly wage and you work the same number of hours each shift or week, you would multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours you usually work, then multiply that by the number of days you had to take off of work.
What if you are tipped? This can be a bit more complex, especially since income tends to fluctuate throughout the year based on holidays and seasonal trends. If you have previous records of what you’ve earned, including tax returns and employer records, that will be very helpful for your attorney.
Be sure to account for any major losses of income. For example, if you are a waiter and you had to miss Mother’s Day because of your injury, you may have lost out on a full week’s worth of regular income.
Self-employed income, much like tipped income, can be harder to verify. Tax records, client contracts, and official documentation of ongoing projects can go a long way in strengthening your claim. Account for any work you had to outsource and pay for in order to meet client’s needs, as that can be a significant expense for many self-employed workers. If you had to turn down any projects as a result of your injury, you may be able to include that in your calculation.
What About Sick Days and Vacation Days?
Most employers offer some form of sick pay and vacation pay. If your sick days and vacation days cover your time away from work, you may assume that you can’t be compensated for those.
That is not the case. Those days are yours to use as you see fit, and you should not have to use them on an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Even if your sick days covered your time away from work, you should still be able to receive compensation for them. This should give you some breathing room should you become sick or want to take a vacation later in the year.
Let Mann & Potter Help with Your Accident Claim—Call Us Now
Are you ready to start your personal injury claim? It’s time to talk to the team at Mann & Potter and find out how we can help you. Schedule a consultation with our team now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or filling out our quick and easy contact form.