When a person suffers an injury that keeps them out of work, they will likely miss out on vital wages that they would have earned if the accident hadn’t happened. Many people will deal with the immediate consequences of lost wages right after an accident, but these lost wages may also continue for several weeks, months, or even years. Some accident victims can never work again.
Determining you lost wages can be difficult. Many insurance companies attempt to resolve these claims for much less than what victims are actually entitled to. Some insurers offer victims lump-sum settlements that the victim may assume will be enough to cover all of their costs, only to learn later that all future expenses must be paid out of pocket.
If you suffered severe injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Alabama, you could be entitled to compensation for all of your past, present, and future lost wages. You should talk to an attorney for help seeking justice.
The lawyers of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have over a century of combined legal experience and have served clients all over Alabama since 1966. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.
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What Is a Lost Wage Claim?
When you believe that you have a claim for lost wages following an accident, you or your attorney will typically file your claim with the insurance company for the negligent party. The insurer will often assign a claims adjuster to the case to perform an investigation. The insurance company may try to find reasons to minimize their payout or avoid paying you anything.
An insurance company may claim that you were at fault for your accident and not entitled to any damages. If the insurer accepts responsibility, they may still try to reduce what they pay you by claiming that your losses weren’t as much as you claim. In other cases, the insurer may attempt to pressure a victim into accepting a settlement to prevent them from filing a lawsuit.
The lawsuit will be an option for a person if the insurance company does not provide satisfactory compensation. You can sue the negligent party for your lost wages and have your case tried in a court of law.
The Difference Between Present Lost Wages and Future Lost Wages
Lost wages refers to all income that a person loses because of the limitations on the ability to work due to their injury. Present lost wages usually refers to all wages lost since the accident up until the filing of a lawsuit, while future lost wages is an estimate of all the wages that will be lost until the victim recovers.
Some claims may involve lost earning capacity, which refers to an injury that causes a long-term disability that prevents a victim from being able to regain the same type of employment. These types of injuries can result in a significant loss of income, which lost earning capacity is intended to compensate for.
Another kind of lost income is lost opportunities, which can apply to job interviews that a person missed because of their accident. While there may be no job offer involved, a victim could argue that they were deprived of the opportunity to earn a position at which they would have earned a certain income.
What You’ll Need to File a Wage Loss Claim after an Alabama Car Accident
You may need three kinds of documents as part of a lost wages claim. First, you will need a letter from your doctor that outlines your injuries and identifies explicitly the amount of time you will be out of work.
Another vital need will be your most recent pay stubs or another wage document. A W-2 or recent tax return may suffice in some cases.
Finally, you will want to get a letter from your employer that confirms a number of details about your claim. Your employer should state the dates you have missed, your rate of pay, and the number of hours you work during each pay period.
How Lost Wages Are Calculated After a Car Accident
To calculate your lost wages, the formula will usually depend on whether you are an hourly employee or a salaried one. Each formula accounts for your base lost wages.
When you are an hourly employee, your lost wages will simply be the number of hours you were out of work multiplied by your hourly wage. If you make $10 an hour and miss 100 hours of work, your lost wages claim would be for $1,000.
If you are on salary, you will take your annual salary and divide it by 2,080, which is the number of weekday hours in a year. You multiply the result by the number of hours you will miss, so a person who makes $50,000 a year would give you an hourly rate of $24.04 and 100 hours of lost work would result in a lost wage claim of $2,404.
It is also important to calculate whether your injuries resulted in the loss of any regular overtime pay. Other types of lost wages could include lost promotions, salary increases, or bonuses.
Contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., for Help with a Lost Wage Claim
The time that you are away from work creates tremendous financial strain for your entire family. You should not be forced to struggle when your injuries caused by another party’s negligence.
You can pursue compensation for the money that you lose while you are recovering from your injuries. In some cases, severe injuries can keep people out of work for very long periods or even permanently affect their ability to earn a living.
The attorneys of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., represent all clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing unless we obtain a monetary award for you. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.