Determining what makes up a lost wage isn’t an exact formula or science. It depends on what the type of injury is and how it must be treated. How this injury affects a person’s current and potential future earnings is also an important piece of the puzzle. Experts are often asked to weigh in.
The following information should help you better understand the process that goes on to determine how lost wages are determined. What counts as a lost wage, and how to optimize the amount paid is also covered.
Types of Lost Wages
In addition to compensation for time off work after someone has been injured in a major accident, there are also other types of lost wages and compensation methods.
- Current and Past Wages – This is the most straightforward type of compensation. After an injury that keeps someone out of work, or limits their ability to do their job, they may expect to be compensated for this time by the party responsible for their injury or that party’s insurance.
- Used Sick Days and Vacation Time – If a person found it necessary to use paid time off to care for an injury or illness that was caused by another or their workplace, this time will typically be reimbursed, or more direct compensation may be offered.
- Future Wages or Lost Earning Capacity – If an injury will prevent the injured person from earning as much as they have been, or from accepting an opportunity to earn more, the injured party may receive additional compensation for these future lost wages or earnings.
Other Benefits – If an injury has kept someone from working and they would have earned some benefits from continuing to work, such as a perk or trip that other employees have been granted, these benefits may be reimbursed or factored into lost wages.
Necessary Documentation of Lost Income
To determine what wages are to be reimbursed, documentation will be needed. The more documentation available, the stronger the case for reimbursement. The types of documentation most often considered includes:
- Income Statements and Trends During and Before the Injury
- Bank Statements
- Medical Records
- Times and Dates of Medical Treatments and Therapies
- Expert Testimony
- Details of Work in Progress and Recently Completed Projects, If Any
How Injury Type Determines What Wages You Can Recover
Not all injuries are the same or result in the same types of things being considered. For example, an injury that is determined to allow still the person who sustained it to work often means that if that person takes time off to recover, they are unlikely to be compensated for this additional time as they have been medically cleared to resume work.
Other Ways to Determine What a Person is Owed
In cases that concern severe injuries, especially to a young or self-employed person, expert testimony is a large factor in determining what wages are owed. Experts that may be consulted include:
- Current, Past, and Potential Employers
- Past Clients
- Medical Doctors
- Economists, Actuaries, and Other Financial Experts
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