The sheer volume of lost compensation after you have sustained a personal injury can be enough to cause financial ruin. You are entitled to compensation for lost income along with a personal injury claim.
Understanding What Can Be Considered Lost Income
There is a bit of confusion about what can actually be counted as lost income. It is important to understand what counts as compensation for lost income purposes during a personal injury case. Basically, any lost wages, compensation, benefits, or bonuses you have lost due to your injury can be counted as lost income. Your lost income claim can include mention of:
- Your regular hourly wages or salary
- Vacation pay
- Sick days or personal hours used to pay for your time off
- Commissions or bonuses you would have otherwise earned
- Merit raises or salary increases lost due to time off
- Retirement or 401k account contributions you missed
Critical Components of Proving Your Lost Income
Two primary components can be used to prove your lost compensation was directly due to your injuries.
Proof of Your Income Provided by Your Employer
Of course, your employer can give a reliable account of how much you lost due to your injury. They can create a report that shows your lost hours and days from work, how much you would have made during those times, and any compensation you missed out on while you were unable to work.
Medical Records Proving Your Injuries Left You Unable to Work
Having a doctor state in writing that it is not safe for you to return to work is an important component when seeking compensation for lost income. A doctor’s narrative or explanatory note will state what your work limitations were or will be and if or when you will be able to return to work.
How Do You Prove Lost Self-Employment Income?
Proving lost self-employment income in a personal injury case is a little more complicated, but not at all impossible. You can utilize several items to prove how much your income was before your injury, such as:
- Tax forms or tax returns
- Business bank account transaction information
- Records kept by your bookkeeper or accountant
- Profit and loss statements or other business documents
The more evidence you can supply, the better chance there will be to obtain the proper compensation for lost income.
Don’t Forget Future Income Loss
The majority of people who are suing for lost income will have already returned to work after an injury. However, there can be more severe situations hen the loss of future income must be considered. For example, if you previously worked as a machinist and were involved in an accident that left you with no arms, you would not be able to perform as a machinist for the future. Therefore, future loss of income would have to be considered when filing your claim. Several things can affect future income loss determinations, such as:
- If you are likely to recover from your injuries and when
- If it is possible for you to step into another form of employment
- How much you have earned before the accident happened
- How many years you would have likely worked if not for your injury
When you have gone through a major injury, you should not have to also suffer financially. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer to further discuss compensation for lost income and how you can work to get what you truly deserve.