When you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence, calculating your damages can be difficult. Not only do you have to consider your medical expenses, you also have to think about your lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses. However, figuring out your lost wages is fairly straightforward.
With over half of the United States living paycheck to paycheck, losing a few days or weeks of income can be devastating to a family. If your accident causes you to lose out on income, you absolutely deserve to recover it in a personal injury claim.
Take the first step in your personal injury claim today. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to set up a time to talk.
Make Sure You Have the Documentation You Need
Before you start calculating, make sure you have all the proof and documentation you need. Evidence is everything in a personal injury claim, and when you’re calculating economic damages, you have to have the numbers to back up what you’re asking for.
There are several types of supporting documents that can help you build your case and calculate your lost wages. First, start with your medical records. You should have a note from your doctor excusing you from work, listing the reason for the missed days and the timeframe for your absence.
Next, you’ll want to get copies of your paystubs. The paystub should break down how many hours you worked, which you can compare to a pre-injury paystub to show how many hours you typically work in a pay period. While getting copies of paystubs, ask your employer for a letter confirming the days that you missed work.
Keep Records of What Causes You to Miss Work
While this may not fall under the category of official documentation, keep notes of each day you are away from work if you miss time outside of what your doctor recommends. For example, if your pain levels are too high to allow you to work on certain days, jot that down and leave specific details about how your pain is keeping you from work. If you have to miss a day to attend multiple doctors’ appointments, document that as well.
How to Calculate Your Lost Wages
The way you calculate your lost wages depends on whether you are paid on an hourly basis or if you are a salaried employee. If you are paid hourly, simply take the number of hours you work per day times the number of days you missed work times your hourly rate. If you make $14.25 per hour and missed five days of work where you would have worked eight hours, you would calculate:
14.25 x 5 x 8 = $570
This would be what you request for lost wages.
If you are a salaried employee, start with your base annual salary. Assume that you work or are expected to work 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, for a total of 2080 hours per year. You would divide your salary by 2080 to get your “hourly pay” and then multiple that amount by the days and hours you missed. Let’s assume a $60,000 annual salary and six eight-hour days of work:
(60,000/2080) x (6 x 8) = $1384.62
You would request $1384.62 for lost wages.
Don’t Forget Lost Overtime and Other Extra Payments
You may have other work-related losses to ask for in your personal injury claim. If you generally work overtime as an hourly employee and you lose out on that because of your injury, you may be able to recover lost overtime if you can prove that you do typically work overtime hours.
If you lost out on sales bonuses or raises because of time spent away from work, don’t forget to calculate the economic impact of those losses. However, it may be more difficult to recover compensation in these situations. You’ll need substantial documentation showing that you would have definitely received the bonus check, promotion, or sales commission if you had been at work. Your attorney can help you in that area.
Explore Your Options with Mann & Potter
If you’re ready to move forward with a personal injury claim, the team at Mann & Potter is here for you. Let’s set up a time to talk—call us at 205-879-9661 or reach out to us online.