If you are a gainfully employed individual who is the unfortunate victim of a car accident, you may find that your hospital and car repair bills are not the only losses. To add insult to injury, you may actually lose income because you are unable to go to work. For example, you may need to take time away from your job to recover, or you may not be able to perform your employment duties due to permanent injuries. In such cases, the law provides damages for lost wages as a remedy to compensate you and put you in the “same position” as you were before the accident.
Your right to recover lost wages is not affected by your employment status. You have the right to be reimbursed whether you are employed full-time or part-time, whether you earn an hourly, weekly, or monthly salary, or whether you are an employee, independent contractor, or self-employed.
Calculating Lost Wages
There are several ways to calculate lost wages. The first and more common approach, is to simply obtain your pay statements from your employer for the two or three months prior to your injury. You can calculate your average daily gross earnings from the pay statements, and simply multiply it by the number of days you missed work.
Another option is to obtain your tax return from the previous year. This option is viable if you work part-time, or work sporadic hours. You can determine your average weekly gross income from your tax returns, and use that as a basis to calculate what you would have earned if you were working part-time.
Another option, more viable for people who are self-employed, is to submit your monthly income and expense worksheets. Again, you can get an average of your daily gross income and multiply it by the number of days you missed.
Be sure to demand lost wages from the insurance company if you have lost income due to a car accident.