Calculating Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case

Injured parties can’t work and it can be devastating for families. For most individuals suffering from a major injury, many sleepless nights are spent worrying about your immediate and future financial needs.

If plaintiffs are engaged in multiple levels of employment, they may have a more difficult time proving their lost wages. For instance, many individuals have part time jobs by taking care of a neighbor’s yard or bartending on the weekends. Non-traditional jobs add a lot of value to many people’s lives, but non-traditional jobs cannot necessarily be easily included when calculating lost wages.

Lost wages are included in the compensatory damages owed to a plaintiff and the court requires documentation that shows the losses the plaintiff has suffered. Courts can be skeptical of what plaintiffs may claim as lost wages if there is no formal tax document provided, such as a W-2 or a 1090 Form to accompany the claim of loss.

Here, plaintiffs must consider what their overall income is and from what sources. After considering all sources of income, plaintiffs and attorneys identify which ones can be readily identified with formal tax documentation or other reasonable ways to show income.

Plaintiffs must also remember how much income may be lost in the future due to the injury. Key factors in determining loss of future income include the plaintiff’s current income, what was the expected income in the future, and how much time the plaintiff needs to recover. Here, plaintiffs will need to show documentation of current income and a calculation of future income based on the time needed to recover from the injury. Further, plaintiffs will often times need a formal medical recommendation of how much time may be needed to fully heal.

The emphasis here is that plaintiffs will need reliable documentation to show the current income and a reasonable explanation of future income, multiplied by the time needed to recover. Further, plaintiffs must ensure this documentation is available and entered into the record to show the court to ensure the most appropriate judgement is awarded.

The attorneys on our legal team at Harding & Associates stand ready to schedule an initial consultation with you. You can schedule a no-obligation, no-cost initial consultation by calling our offices at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

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