Determining Lost Wages in a Personal Injury ClaimIf you’ve been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you’ve most likely incurred damages that include lost wages. Any money you lost because your injury forced you to remain out of work for a period of time is considered lost wages. In addition, you may lose wages in the future if your injury was serious. Determining the amounts of these lost wages can sometimes be a complicated matter.

Past Lost Wages

When you’ve been injured, you may miss work due to hospitalizations, surgeries, and medical appointments. You might also miss work because a doctor has determined that you need to heal and are not physically able to return to work for a period of time. Losing wages can have a devastating impact on a negligence victim’s finances. To prove past lost wages, it must be shown that missed days from work were the direct result of the injury sustained due to someone’s negligence. This can be proven using medical records or the testimony of a medical expert. Copies of income tax returns and pay stubs can be used to establish the amount of wages lost.

Future Lost Wages

If you have sustained a serious injury, it may impact your ability to work in the future. If that is the case, you may be able to recover future lost wages. Future lost wages are calculated as a loss of income based on what you would actually lose in the future. It must be established that the injury is permanent and that there is a reasonable probability of future loss.
A serious injury can have a lasting physical and mental impact on your capacity to earn the wage that you were earning before the accident. This is known as diminished earning capacity. Diminished earning capacity can be based on the fact that you can no longer perform the same job you did previously because of your limitations, or that your lifespan has been shortened as a result of your injury. For example, you may no longer be able to work on a full-time basis and have to accept a part-time job. You could recover any future lost wages based on what you are earning now compared to what you earned before the accident.
Establishing diminished earning capacity may involve the use of expert witnesses who can provide their opinions on what you may have earned if your injury had not altered your circumstances. Evidence may include medical expert opinions about whether it is possible for you to recover from your injury fully. There should also be evidence of how your injury will affect your ability to perform your job adequately. In addition, financial expert opinions can compare what your income would have been if you had not been injured and what you could expect to earn post-injury.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.