If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, or other incidents through no fault of your own, you are likely facing numerous bills and expenses. For example, you may have medical expenses, such as hospital bills and physical therapy bills.
Additionally, you may have missed a significant amount of time from work, and your earning capacity may be diminished due to the nature of your injuries. In a personal injury claim, these types of damages are called lost wages.
If you need to file a lost wages claim, you should first consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney to ensure your claim is properly handled.
Pursuing a Lost Wages Claim
There are two routes of recovery after sustaining an injury in a motor vehicle accident or other incidents: filing a claim with insurance or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party and the at-fault party’s insurance company. Your attorney will be able to help you decide which is the best method in your case.
Typically, lost wages damages are one of several types of damages that are pursued in a personal injury claim. After all, if a personal injury victim has missed work because of an injury, that victim probably has hospital bills and other expenses as well.
A personal injury claim is a type of negligence claim. In a negligence claim, the injured victim must prove that any damages sought are directly related to the incident. The injured victim must show that the damages are not due to a preexisting condition or other issues unrelated to the incident.
In a lost wages claim, the following types of evidence are often submitted:
- Medical records that detail the types of injuries the victim suffered, including how each injury occurred. If a previous injury was exacerbated by the incident, this should be noted in the medical records.
- Pay stubs that show how much the victim was earning at the time of the incident
- Tax returns that show income
- If the victim is self-employed, invoices or other similar documentation may be provided
- Detailed information from an employer that lays out the dates the employee missed from work and lost earnings from those dates.
The Demand Package
Once compiled, where does all of this evidence go? All evidence of damages must be sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The list of damages, as well as its supporting documentation, are gathered and organized into a demand package.
The demand package includes a demand letter that explains how the victim was injured, how the at-fault party caused the injuries and the extent of the victim’s damages.
The demand letter includes a monetary amount that the victim has proposed as a settlement of the claim. If the insurance company does not agree to settle the claim for this amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit.
How Are Lost Wages Calculated?
The amount of lost wages a claimant is entitled to varies significantly depending on the facts of the case. For example, how much time did the claimant miss from work? What type of employment benefits did the employee miss out on while recovering from his or her injuries? Is the claimant’s ability to earn income in the future permanently affected by the incident?
Although documentation provides many of these answers, in some cases, it may be necessary to hire a forensic economist to provide additional insight into the claimant’s lost wages claim. A claimant’s age, education level, employment history, and other factors are considered when making this analysis.
If You Need Assistance with a Lost Wages Claim, Call Kuvara Law Today
At Kuvara Law Firm, we are proud to represent clients throughout California. Whether you have been injured in a slip and fall or in a serious car accident, we are available to help you obtain fair compensation.