When you sustain injuries in a car accident, it can affect your ability to work. If someone else’s actions caused the accident, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation. Understandably, prospective clients want to know how to claim lost wages from a car accident. Don’t hesitate to contact the California car accident lawyers at Beliz Law Firm to learn how we can help you pursue a claim for lost earnings.
Most lost wage claims also involve other damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. Our skilled legal team can help you determine the total value of your car accident claim.
Can I Claim Lost Wages from a Car Accident?
In most situations, you can pursue lost wages in a car accident claim in California. However, you must have sufficient proof of your lost wages before making your claim. Otherwise, the other driver’s insurance company will deny your claim. For example, imagine you suffered whiplash in a car accident. A lost wages claim would require proof of the work you missed due to the whiplash.
You should be aware of two distinct components of personal injury wage claims: lost wages to date and future loss of earning capacity.
Evidence Needed for a Lost Wages Claim After a Car Accident
You need to provide evidence supporting your claim that you could not work due to your car accident injury. Some of the most common types of evidence include:
- Medical records that detail your injuries, including how they occurred and if you had a prior injury that was made worse in this accident;
- Pay stubs showing your earnings before the accident;
- Tax returns that confirm your prior earnings;
- Work records that show your missed days since the accident; and
- If you’re self-employed, you need invoices or other documentation that prove your losses.
Include any letters or emails written to your supervisor that explain your absences. Your employer can also prepare a letter that details your missed time. The more documentation you have, the better. If you have future medical appointments requiring you to miss work, include those lost future earnings in your calculations.
When you retain an attorney at Beliz Law Firm, we will help compile all the evidence necessary to present a claim for lost wages.
What Is Loss of Earning Capacity?
Loss of earning capacity is the difference between what you are making and what you would be earning if not for your injury. For example, perhaps you were able to return to work after the accident, but you can’t do your former job.
Proving a future loss of earning capacity is more challenging than a standard lost wages claim. That’s because there’s a need to speculate about your future earnings.
The most challenging aspect of a loss of earning capacity claim is figuring out what you would have earned in the future if not for the debilitating injury. To calculate your damages, you would deduct what you might earn with your injury or disability from that amount. It’s typically necessary to hire a financial or economic expert who can help figure out these amounts. These experts can determine a range of what your loss of earning capacity claim is worth.
Should your loss of earning potential claim go before a jury, the court grants the jury leeway to determine the amount you should be awarded. Jury members can use their common sense, which can be helpful or a hindrance, depending on the trial.
How to Claim Lost Wages from a Car Accident
Once you have all your evidence and documentation, you will present a demand package to the defendant’s insurance company. When you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will handle this step. All evidence is submitted to the insurance company to review, and you have to wait for a response.
The demand package has a letter outlining everything about your case, including how you were injured, why the defendant is responsible, and what damages you sustained. Your attorney also includes a monetary amount you wish to resolve the case for. If the defendant’s insurance company refuses to talk about settlement values or if an adequate settlement offer is not made, your attorney may advise filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers
When you have questions on how to claim lost wages from a car accident, Beliz Law Firm stands ready to help. We know how difficult proving damages can be in a car accident claim. We can help gather evidence and build the strongest case possible. If we need to hire experts for a loss of earning capacity claim, we have a network of reputable professionals we can call.
If you pursue a claim independently, you might miss out on the valuable compensation you need. With nearly two decades of experience assisting injured car accident victims in California, we will fight for the maximum compensation in your lost wages claim. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.