Proving Lost Income
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and you believe you have lost income as a result, then you will need to prove this claim to the at-fault insurance company and a jury if a trial is required in your case. It takes an experienced personal injury attorney to know how to effectively prove lost income so that you can be justly compensated.
When proving lost wages, there are two types of claims - past lost wages and future lost wages. The proof necessary to prove past lost wages includes the following:
- Medical proof that the injuries suffered in the motor vehicle accident prevented you from performing your job.
- Financial documents proving the wages you were earning at the time of the accident.
The medical proof will come from your primary treating doctor. If your case is being presented to an at-fault insurance company prior to litigation, the proof will come in the form of medical records and/or a medical report establishing that your injuries prevented you from working. If you were employed by a company or individual at the time of the accident, the financial proof will come in the form of past pay stubs or other records from your employer. If you were self-employed, the documents normally required are your past tax returns. Your tax returns will establish an average weekly or monthly income, which will allow you to calculate your lost wages.
If you do not file tax returns or do not keep financial records, the proof of lost wages can be problematic.
It is not necessary that you actually lose income to make a lost wages claim. It is only necessary that you are physically unable to work. Your employer may decide to pay you even though you are not able to work or you may use vacation time or other considerations to allow you to receive your normal income. You may have a disability policy to compensate you for your lost income.
Future lost wages requires medical and financial documentation and often requires the testimony of an economist. In order to make a claim for future lost wages, your medical doctor must testify that you have a permanent injury and that your injury will restrict your ability to perform certain jobs. Then, you must prove that your permanent injury will reduce your ability to earn income in the future. If your permanent injury prevents you from performing your current job, then you simply need to provide proof of your current income. If your injury does not prevent you from performing your current job, but will reduce your overall ability to earn income, you will need to hire an economist to prove this claim. This claim can be significant, but is not always accepted by the at-fault insurance company or jury. You will need an experienced litigator to make this claim an effective one.
Contact the personal injury attorneys of Moore·Faust Injury Law Group for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your injury claim and what they can do for you to pursue all the damages you have suffered due to your injury.
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