Lost Wages From Car Accident in Virginia Beach
Car accidents can cause serious injuries and leave you out of work. If you’ve been injured, we can help you pursue the compensation you need.
At the Virginia Beach law firm of Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we’re committed to helping those injured in car accidents. We’ve helped car accident victims throughout the Tidewater area recover their lost wages and lost income. With over 30 years of experience, our car accident lawyers know how to take your claim from start to finish.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today. We can help.
What Happens If I Can’t Go Back to Work After a Car Accident?
Car accidents can cause serious injuries and force victims to miss work for days, months, or even the rest of their lives. If you have been injured in a car accident and you must miss work, you may recover damages related to your injuries. These damages may include lost income and future losses such as lost earning potential. You may be entitled to compensation for missed days at work even if you were able to use paid sick leave or vacation time. A lawyer can help you figure out how to calculate these losses and prove them in a claim.
Often, car accident victims lose the wages they need to support themselves and their families as a direct result of their injuries. For example, let’s say a car accident injures a victim’s back. The victim works in the construction field and he can’t return to work for three months. Since his injury caused three months of lost work, he may be entitled to three months of wages as damages. This could include more than just wages and may include bonuses, lost performance incentives, and other compensation.
Reduced earning potential may also be recoverable. This includes raises, better jobs, and higher-paying opportunities that the injury may take away. For example, an accident causes a victim brain damage. That damage could prevent a victim from taking on more difficult assignments in the future. In this case, an injury may reduce the victim’s future earning potential because the victim can’t handle a more challenging and higher-paying job. When an injury reduces a victim’s capacity to work permanently or in the long term, a victim may be able to recover the amount of their diminished earning potential.
Both physical and psychological injuries can cause victims to lose income. Physical injuries can more easily be linked to lost income in many cases. Issues like broken bones, cuts, and head injuries can be diagnosed and directly linked to a job’s duties, for example. However, psychological injuries may also reduce or eliminate a victim’s ability to do a job. The stress of an accident can cause debilitating mental issues that may prevent a victim from carrying out their job duties now and in the future.
If you can’t go back to work after a car accident, you may be able to recover damages for the wages and income you lose. These damages can include current losses and those that extend into the future. If you’ve been injured, a lawyer can help you document your injuries and prove your damages in a claim.
How to Prove Lost Wages Now and in the Future
To prove lost wages, a victim may have to prove employment status, income, and the link between the injury and their inability to work. To get compensation for lost earning potential, the victim may have to prove these along with the long-term effects of the injury on the victim. A lawyer can help victims navigate the different types of recovery and what types of documentation they’ll need.
Employment status and wages can be shown by pay records, tax returns, and other income documents. If the victim is employed at a company, these documents will clearly show how much income the victim was making prior to the accident. If the victim is self-employed, contracts, past income, and other financial information can help show how much income the victim was earning and expected to earn in the future. Regardless of the nature of the victim’s employment, it will take careful documentation to establish that a victim had a specific level of income at the time of the accident.
The victim will also have to show a direct link between the injury and their lost wages. A claim will likely use medical records and statements by the patient’s doctor to show the link. Documentation from an employer detailing the victim’s lost work will also be important.
To prove lost future earning potential, a victim may need to show how the injury will affect them in the long term. For example, brain damage from a car accident can reduce a victim’s work capacity for the rest of their lives. Medical records, doctor testimony, and testimony from those in the victim’s field (such as their employer) may be part of the claim.
How to Calculate Lost Wages After an Accident in VA Beach
In some cases, it may be simple to calculate lost wages. A claim could look at the number of hours of lost work and the victim’s pay rate. Let’s say a victim makes $25 an hour and misses 40 hours of work. The victim has missed one week of work and lost $1,000 of wages. The victim then returns to work with no future problems. In these rare cases, calculating lost wages can be straightforward.
Often, there’s more than just a victim’s salary that comes into play. The severity of the injury and its relation to job duties will likely be involved. Job benefits such as bonuses, retirement plans, and insurance benefits may also be involved. A claim may need to include lost opportunities such as bonuses, performance incentives, and other potential losses.
Often it isn’t enough to determine a victim’s salary and then multiply it by the amount of lost work. A lawyer will look at the true cost of missed work. The claim will include the wages and many other benefits a victim will lose from the accident.
Contact SRGS Law If You Missed Work Due to Injuries After a Car Accident in Virginia Beach
At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we know the challenges that car accident victims face. Our lawyers have decades of experience recovering lost wages for victims just like you.
If you have been injured in a car accident, we’ll fight to get you the lost wages and lost income that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.