If you cannot return to work immediately after a car accident, you can calculate your lost income by multiplying your wages by the number of missed hours. You can also seek compensation for additional lost earnings and employment benefits.
Continuing reading to learn more about recovering your lost income and economic and non-economic damages following a Texas car accident. You can also meet with a personal injury at any time to receive legal counsel tailored to your specific auto accident.
How You Can Calculate Your Lost Wages After a Car Accident Injury
If you suffered injuries and financial losses from a car accident, you can pursue financial compensation from the liable driver with an auto insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Collision damages may include lost income if your injury, recovery, and essential medical treatment keep you from working.
Usually, how you get paid will determine how you calculate lost income if you cannot return to work immediately after a car accident. The two methods used are as follows:
- Hourly wages. If you get paid by the hour, you will multiply your hourly rate by the time you missed at work due to your accident. So, if you make $15 per hour and cannot work five eight-hour workdays, you would multiply $15 by 40 hours to find your total lost wages, which in this example is $600.
- Annual salary. If you earn a yearly salary, you will start calculating your lost income by dividing your annual wage by 2,080 (the number of work hours in a year if you work 52 weeks at 40 hours per week). For example, if you make $100,000 per year, your hourly wage is around $48 per hour ($100,000/2080). You then multiply this figure by the number of hours lost at work because of your crash injury. So, if you missed five eight-hour workdays, your lost wages would amount to $1,920.
In addition to your base pay, you can pursue compensation for other lost earnings, including bonuses, overtime, or income usually made through freelancing or side gigs. You can also recover the value of lost employment benefits, like health insurance or retirement contributions.
Can You Seek Lost Income if You Used Sick Leave or Vacation Days?
Yes. You can still seek compensation for lost wages if you used sick days or paid time off after your accident because you would not have had to use these benefits if not for your crash injury.
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Calculating Compensation for Future Lost Income and Lost Earning Capacity
If you suffered a severe injury or permanent disability that affects your earning capabilities for the long term, you can secure awards for your future income loss and lost earning potential. However, proving your right to this compensation is more complicated than calculating your lost income.
While your hourly or annual wage will be a factor, insurance companies will also consider the following when calculating damages for your lost earning capacity:
- Your current age and expected retirement age
- Whether your injuries require you to leave the workforce entirely or allow you to perform another type of job or work fewer hours
- Whether you can return to work in the same capacity as before your injury
- Your employment history, education, and skills
You must support your lost earning capacity claim for compensation with evidence, which may include testimony from medical experts, vocational specialists, and economists.
Additional Recoverable Damages You Can Pursue After a Car Accident
Lost income is just one portion of a car accident claim. If you suffered injuries in a wreck caused by a negligent driver’s reckless, wrongful actions, you may qualify for compensatory damages for the following losses in addition to your wages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Household services
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Lost or impaired quality of life
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Lost Income and Fatal Car Accident Injuries
If your loved one suffered a fatal car accident injury, you might be able to pursue wrongful death damages, including awards for lost income, if you qualify under state law. Texas wrongful death compensation falls into two categories:
- Awards the deceased could have sought with a personal injury claim had they lived
- Compensation for surviving family members’ tangible and intangible losses
We can pursue the value of your loved one’s lost earnings from the time of the collision until their passing. You can also seek compensation for losing their future financial support, savings, and inheritance. Additional wrongful death awards may include the following:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the deceased’s household services
- Loss of the deceased’s society, love, comfort, and companionship
- Survivors’ mental pain and suffering
How Long Do You Have to Recover Lost Income and Other Collision-Related Losses?
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death case in a Texas civil court. While this deadline does not strictly apply to insurance claims, failure to negotiate a fair settlement before the statute of limitations expires could leave you with a denied or underpaid claim and no options for legal recourse.
Proving Your Right to Lost Income and Car Accident Compensation
To win lost income in a car accident case, you must show your injuries prevent you from working. You must also prove a negligent party caused your motor vehicle collision and is liable for your damages. Working with a car accident lawyer from our firm may benefit you who can collect evidence and use their legal experience to construct a robust claim. The team at our personal injury law firm can:
- Use your medical records and expert testimony to prove your injuries interfere with your work capabilities
- Collect evidence proving an at-fault party caused your crash
- Calculate your lost income and identify and value other accident-related losses
- Prepare and file your insurance claims
- Negotiate for the maximum compensation possible
- File a lawsuit and represent you at trial if necessary
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins for a Car Accident Case Consultation
Contact our legal team today for a free consultation. We can tell you more about calculating lost income if you cannot return to work immediately after a car accident. Our personal injury attorneys can also advise you about your options for seeking personal injury compensation.