If you’ve sustained an injury due to another’s negligence, you are legally entitled to seek monetary compensation. The extent of the injury may lead to different outcomes, such as the inability to work either temporarily or permanently.
It’s important to understand the different types of compensation you may be eligible for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include expenses that can be calculated due to your injury. These damages are generally more straightforward and easier to recover.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more difficult to quantify. Costs such as suffering or loss of enjoyment are considered non-economic damages and require careful documentation to recover.
Lost Wages Explained
The term lost wages describes compensation that would have been earned had the injured party not missed out on work.
Lost wages can be recovered by full-time or part-time employees and individuals who make hourly, weekly, or monthly salaries. Wages include overtime pay, the value of sick leave or vacation days, company perks, bonuses, and tips.
Calculating Lost Wages
Before you can calculate lost wages, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for your injuries. Medical documentation is the best way to substantiate an injury claim. If your doctor tells you to take time off from work to recover from your injury, this should also be carefully documented.
Proving lost wages will require additional documentation. Start by obtaining a letter from your employer stating your hourly rate of pay or an annual salary, typical hours worked in a week, overtime earnings, and time taken off due to your injury.
To calculate lost wages as an hourly employee, you will need to determine the number of regular hours missed from work. If your hours per week vary, use the previous month to calculate an average. Next, you will multiply the number of missed hours by your hourly rate. Repeat this procedure for overtime hours but multiply missed hours by 1.5 times your hourly rate.
To calculate lost wages as a salaried employee. This can be done by dividing your annual salary by the number of hours you work in a year (40 hours a week would equal 2,080 hours a year). Once you determine an hourly pay rate, multiply it by hours missed to calculate lost wages.
Self-employed income can be more challenging to calculate. You can use previous tax records if you’ve been self-employed long enough to report a yearly income. However, if you are newly self-employed, you will need another means of proving lost wages, such as contracts, orders, or appointments that can demonstrate potential earnings had you been able to work.
Benefits, such as potential contributions to a retirement plan, bonuses, and commissions, contribute to your total wages. If any benefits were lost as a result of missing work, they could be included in your lost wages calculation.
Calculating lost wages for your personal injury case isn’t always straightforward. Contact our office today to discuss your legal options if you have been injured due to another’s negligence.