One of the troubling consequences of being injured in a California accident is realizing that you are no longer able to bring in the same income that you could before you were injured. You deserve to be compensated for lost wages after an accident.
Proving how much money you should have made is straightforward if you are an employee of a business that is owned by someone else. Most of the time, all you need to do in that case is provide your pay stub to prove what your income is, or your employer can produce needed documentation of your employment status and how much you’re paid. But how do you prove the amount of wages that you lost if you are self-employed?
While a self-employed person may find it more challenging to document the wages that have been lost because of an accident than an individual that works for someone else, there are several types of business records that be used as proof. These documents include:
- Balance sheet
- Income statement
- Profit and loss statement
Whether the business you own is large or small, these routine accounting records can show the income generated by the business and the expenses that occur as part of running the business. They also show the amount of money you have brought in for your own income as the business owner.
If you are a self-employed person who has lost wages, these business records may be requested, but other documents may also be required since it’s possible that business records can be altered to distort the amount of money you actually receive.
Even if you are self-employed, you are required to file an income tax return each year. Your tax return may be considered a fairly reliable way to document what you have earned through self-employment in prior years.
If you have been working as a freelance contractor, you may have received 1099s at the end of the prior year, which shows how much you have received from individual clients. This is also considered reliable information since data on a 1099 form is reported to the federal government.
The problem with 1099s is if you had multiple clients, not all of them may have provided information by using this form. It’s also possible that you have made more or less in income than you did the prior year from self-employment.
Current Contracts with Clients
As a self-employed individual, you may also have contracts which serve as an agreement regarding work you are expected to complete and how much you’re going to be paid for your services. Since you may not be able to complete the services you agreed to in the contract, the money that you expected to earn from that contract is considered lost wages.
Gather all documents that you can think of that might help to demonstrate the amount of wages that you have lost as the result of your auto accident. By gathering as much information as you can, you may be able to demonstrate approximately how much money you are losing by not being able to work.
Getting Legal Advice for Your Lost Wages
Whenever you have been injured in an auto accident that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, it’s a good idea to consult an expert personal injury lawyer to make sure you will be able to receive the compensation you deserve.
It’s especially important to have an expert on your side when you are self-employed so that you can clearly prove lost wages. Contact Kuvara Law Firm by filling out the form on this page. One of our lawyers will get back to you soon so we can discuss your case and see how we can help you prove lost wages when you are self-employed.