You may be entitled to recover damages for your lost earnings if an auto accident or other personal injury accident causes you to suffer an injury that prevents you from going to work and earning the wages that you typically would have received if you had not been injured. The party that caused the injury is responsible for the reimbursement of your lost earnings, and can be an individual or a company—depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Lost earnings can comprise lost wages you did not receive for the time period you were unable to go to work, and can also take the form of lost earning capacity if the accident results in you suffering a long-term injury or disability that prevents you from making the same amount of money you did prior to the accident. Lost earnings can also refer to lost opportunities, such as if you missed a job interview because you were still recovering from your injury.
To recover for lost earnings, you must be able to show that the personal injury accident directly caused the injury that prevented you from going to work. In some instances, you may also be able to recover the full amount of your lost earnings for a pre-existing injury if the accident made your pre-existing injury worse and prevented you from going to work or working as well as you did before the accident.
You typically have to be able to present the amount of time you missed from work due to your accident, as well as the total amount of money you would have earned in the period of time you missed due to your accident.
If you are a regular employee, you will need to ask your boss or supervisor for a letter printed on official company stationery that confirms details such as your salary at the time of the injury, the number of hours you typically work, and the number of days you missed due to the accident. The simplest way you can prove your lost earnings is by submitting your most recent paychecks as a form of evidence.
If you are self-employed or are irregularly employed, you will need to present how much work time you lost due to your accident and how much money you may have potentially earned if you did not suffer any injuries. However, you may need to provide documentation to prove your statements, such as invoices from the same time period of the previous year.
If your job was eliminated, were forced to take a lower-paying job, or were unable to return to the same job, you may be able to claim the difference in income between the two jobs, and the money lost during your search for a new job.
If your injury was so severe that you are unable to return to work, you will have to calculate your lost earning potential based on factors such as your age, job skills, employment history, and quality of life earned before the accident.
In order to ensure that your calculations for lost earnings are accurate and supported by proper documentation, it would be best to contact a personal injury lawyer.