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Car Accident Claims and Lost Wages

By Butler Prather LLP on September 5, 2019

The aftermath of a car crash can be scary and confusing. If you or a loved one have been in a car crash that was caused by another person’s negligence, you will likely encounter several expenses. This can include medical bills and the cost of repairs to your vehicle. You may have to worry about something else – missing work and losing out on your income. Consider the following common car accident injuries:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

Many of these injuries will keep a person from working while they recover. Some of them may prevent a person from returning to work at all.

lost wages

Lost income from your job

Lost wages are an important part of getting a fair compensation for a car accident case. The most obvious lost income is the earnings a car accident victim will lose if their injury keeps them from going to work. Any time away from work that an accident victim needs for medical procedures, doctor visits, or rehabilitation can cost them valuable income. These lost wages are recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Loss of future wages

The loss of future income becomes an issue when a person suffers from a catastrophic injury that keeps them from returning to work at all in the future because they are permanently disabled. If the case involves wrongful death due to the car crash, the victim’s family and heirs can recover the deceased’s loss of future income based on their work history, age, experience, and the likelihood of promotions in the future.

Diminished earning capacity

Diminished earning capacity will be taken into account when a car accident victim is able to return to work but not at the same level as before, therefore losing income. In many instances, an accident victim has to change jobs that take into account their work limitations or restrictions.

What do I need to prove in order to gain lost wages in a settlement?

Proving lost wages, loss of future wages, and a diminished earning capacity can become complex. Lost wages will not be recovered unless you can provide documentation stating your losses. An attorney can work to prove your losses by obtaining:

  • Company letterhead from your boss or human resources stating you lost wages.
  • Your past pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements to show your past earnings.
  • Letters from customers and clients stating you cannot perform the work they require (this is helpful for those who are self-employed).

It may be necessary to hire expert economic and medical experts to prove both future lost wages or diminished earning capacity. Expert witnesses will be able to examine all of your past and present finances, make conclusions about your future earnings, and testify in court on your behalf. Medical experts will be able to examine the extent of your injuries and make a determination as to whether or not you will ever be able to work again and at what capacity.

Proving the other driver’s fault

As with all car accident cases, the most important thing is proving the other driver’s fault. Failing to do so can jeopardize any part of a final settlement. A Georgia car accident attorney will be your advocate in these situations, working to secure the compensation you deserve.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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