Can You Recover Lost Wages after an Auto Accident?

A vehicle that has been damaged in an accident

Losing your income or wages following an injury caused by an auto accident could take a financial toll on most people. Because even as they’re recovering, injured victims still need to pay for their monthly expenses, including food, electric and water bills, and rent or mortgage payment, among others. And on top of that, their medical bills continue to pile up.  

Fortunately, if your injury was a result of an accident due to another individual or company’s negligence, you can be reimbursed for all the wages or income you lost as part of the compensation for your personal injury claim against the liable party.

What Exactly are Lost Wages?  

Lost wages claims typically the following: 

  • Base Pay: This is your regular salary, or hourly wage, that you would’ve received had you not missed work while you were injured. 

  • Overtime Pay: People who are paid hourly and worked overtime during busy seasons or weekly can claim lost overtime pay. 

  • Bonus Days: These include personal days, national holidays, comp days, and birthdays.

  • Sick Days: You should be reimbursed for the sick days you used to recover from your injuries. 

  • Vacation Days: You should also be recompensed for any vacation days you missed to recover from your injuries. 

  • Perks: These can include food, gas, life insurance, health insurance, profit-sharing plans, and stock options or stocks, among others. 

  • Commissions and Bonuses: If your injuries prevented you from getting a commission or bonus, you have a right to be reimbursed for these as well. 

  • Retirement Fund Contributions

  • Wage or Salary Raises: You can be reimbursed for a missed pay raise, including a merit or cost of living raise. 

It’s also vital to note that self-employed individuals also have the legal right to be reimbursed for their lost income. However, proving the lost income would be significantly more challenging. The reason for this is that insurance adjusters are generally more suspicious of lost income claims from self-employed individuals unless they can present reliable and accurate documentation of their income history before they got injured. 

Do You Have a Claim for Lost Earning Capacity? 

In most cases, lost wages claims are made during negotiating the settlement for a personal injury claim, only after the injured individual has resumed working. But what if the injuries you’ve sustained are severe enough to cause a disability? In this case, your personal injury attorney will also seek compensation for lost earning capacity, also called loss of earning capacity, on top of your lost wages claim. 

While this claim can be complicated to calculate and prove, it’s well worth it because your income may be significantly reduced or become nonexistent due to your permanent injuries or disability. Your attorney will fight to prove your claim of lost earning capacity by working with your medical providers, using actuarial studies, and seeking help from forensic accountants to strengthen your case. 

Contact Salam & Associates for a Free Consultation

If you have suffered losses in an auto accident, we can help ensure that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve, including your lost wages. You can speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys here at Salam & Associates so we can strategize how you can recover financially, physically, and emotionally with as little stress as possible. Our attorneys are licensed in D.C., New Mexico, Texas, and Michigan. Contact us online at [email protected] or to schedule your free claim review. 


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