If you are filing a claim due to an injury you sustained, keep in mind that part of your settlement should include loss of income. If your injury was enough to keep you out of work, the amount of money you missed out on, as well as other work opportunities, should be calculated in any settlement agreement you negotiate. This article will explain what you should consider when looking at lost income.
What's Recoverable in Lost Income
You are entitled to receive compensation from the person liable for your injuries and for any wages and income you've lost because of your injuries. This includes income lost because you could not work, as well as time missed because you were seeking treatment for your injuries. The right to seek compensation for lost income applies to both a part-time and full-time job. You can be an hourly-worker or on salary, and you have the right to seek compensation for lost income even if you're self-employed.
Vacation Pay and Sick Time
If you had to take sick time or vacation pay to help pay for the time you missed at work, you still have the right to seek compensation. You were entitled to use the vacation time or sick leave for other times you may have needed or wanted to use it, and your injuries were not your fault. Having to use your sick and vacation pay is considered the same thing as losing the income altogether.
In order to be compensated for lost income, you need to be able to prove two things. First, you need to show how much time you missed due to the accident, and second, how much money you would have made had you been able to work.
Lost Earning Capacity
You may also be able to recover damages if you can prove that your ability to earn income in the future has been diminished or at least impaired because of your injury. Factors that determine the amount of compensation to be awarded include your age, occupation, health, life expectancy, skills, talent, experiences and training. Past earnings are also a factor in calculating how much compensation should be given for lost earnings, but the real focus of any determination is what you would have made had you not been injured in the accident.
In order to be successful in a claim for lost wages, it's best to retain an experienced personal injury attorney.