How Do You Prove Lost Wages? What Lost Wages Can Be Recovered?
When you have suffered any type of injury because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for all losses caused by or arising out of that person’s wrongful act. Often, as a consequence of your injuries, you will be unable to work, either while you recover from your injuries, or ever again. You have a right to pursue “damages,” or monetary compensation, for the income you would have received, had you not been injured. How do you prove lost wages? What wages can you reasonably expect to recover?
Proving Lost Wages
As a general rule, damages are identified as either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are easy to document and calculate, that can be established with reasonable certainty. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are those that are less tangible. Common non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium or companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Lost wages or income are considered to be economic damages. Compensation for lost wages or income includes pay and lost benefits, including vacation time. Your lost wages may be temporary or permanent. If they are temporary, you need to make certain that they include compensation for all time spent in the hospital or recuperating at home, any time spent seeking medical care during work hours, and any sick leave or vacation time you used because of the injuries.
If you are a wage earner, there are a number of ways you can prove lost income or wages:
- You may submit pay stubs, commission statements or other documentation you receive to show you income
- You may submit a letter from your employer setting forth all pertinent information, including how much you are paid, what your pay period is, how much time you missed, and how much sick or vacation time you used
- You may submit a copy of your employment agreement, if you are subject to one
If you are self-employed or work as an independent contractor, you may need to submit:
- Copies of invoices to customers
- Prior years tax returns
- Any written documentation of your wages, such as an employment offer
If your injuries are permanent or long-term, you may file a claim for diminished earning capacity. For example, if you are able to return to work, but only in a lower paying job, you will have such a claim. Furthermore, if you can’t work for a long time (or cannot return to work), you will lose the opportunity for advancement and the potential increased pay that comes with it. To prove these types of damages, you may need to bring in expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, vocational experts and economics/financial experts, who can determine the present value of your future losses.
Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we aggressively protect the rights of people who have suffered any type of injury because of the carelessness or negligence of another person or legal entity. We’ll fight for you throughout the legal process, working hard to help you get full and fair compensation for all your losses. contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.