Personal injuries caused by accidents can be life-altering. They can cause physical, emotional, and financial stress, which can take a toll on your well-being.
One of the significant losses that individuals face after an injury is the loss of wages. This loss can affect you and your family’s livelihood, making it essential to know whether your lost wages will be covered in a personal injury settlement.
What are Lost Wages in Personal Injury Claims?
Lost wages are the income that an individual would have earned had they not been injured in an accident. This income can include hourly wages, salaries, bonuses, and other forms of compensation that an individual could have received during the period they were absent from work due to their injury.
How is the Amount of Lost Wages Determined?
The amount of lost wages is typically determined by the injured individual’s past income history. This history may include past pay stubs, tax returns, and employment records. If the individual is self-employed, their income may be determined based on their business’s profit and loss statements.
What Factors Affect the Amount of Lost Wages?
Several factors can affect the amount of lost wages, including the following:
Time Away from Work
The amount of time that an individual misses work due to their injury will directly affect the amount of lost wages they incur. Typically, the longer an individual is absent from work, the higher their lost wages will be.
Type of Employment
The type of employment an individual has can also affect the amount of lost wages they incur. Individuals who work in hourly positions may lose more income than salaried workers who may have access to sick leave and other forms of compensation.
An individual’s past income history can also affect the amount of lost wages. If an individual has a history of earning a high income, their lost wages will be higher than those with a lower income.
Benefits and Other Forms of Compensation
The amount of benefits and other forms of compensation an individual receives can also affect the amount of lost wages they incur. For example, if an individual receives disability benefits, the amount of lost wages may be reduced.
Will Lost Wages be Fully Covered in a Personal Injury Settlement?
The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Lost wages can be covered in a personal injury settlement, but the amount of coverage will depend on several factors. One of the factors is the type of damages sought in the settlement.
Economic damages are the actual financial losses an individual suffers as a result of their injury. Lost wages fall under economic damages and can be included in a personal injury settlement.
Non-economic damages are the emotional and physical suffering an individual experiences as a result of their injury. Non-economic damages do not include lost wages.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their negligent behavior. These damages do not typically include lost wages.
What are the Limits on Lost Wage Coverage in a Personal Injury Settlement?
Some states have limits on the amount of lost wages that can be included in a personal injury settlement. For example, some states may limit the amount of lost wages to a specific percentage of the individual’s income or a maximum dollar amount.
Lost wages can be a significant financial burden for individuals who have suffered personal injuries due to someone else’s negligence. While lost wages can be covered in a personal injury settlement, the amount of coverage will depend on several factors. It is essential to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney to determine the extent of lost wage coverage you may be entitled to in a settlement.
If you think you may have a personal injury case and are in need of legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact GJEL Accident Attorneys. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive fair compensation for your damages. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are lost wages in personal injury claims?
Lost wages in personal injury claims refer to the money that someone would have earned if they had not been injured in an accident. This includes the wages, salary, or any other income they would have received from their job. For example, if someone is unable to work for a certain amount of time due to their injury, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages they would have earned during that time.
- How are lost wages calculated in a personal injury settlement?
Lost wages are typically calculated by taking the individual’s average income before the accident and subtracting any income earned during the period they were absent from work due to their injury.
- What other expenses can be included in a personal injury settlement?
In addition to lost wages, personal injury settlements can also include compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
- Do I need an attorney to pursue a personal injury settlement?
While it is possible to pursue a personal injury settlement without an attorney, it is highly recommended to seek legal counsel to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.