Car Accident Lost Earnings: What You Should Know

Car Accident Lost Earnings While Recovering From Injury

If the injuries caused by a negligent driver interrupts your ability to work, you are entitled to recover car accident lost earnings. For those earning an hourly wage or an annual salary, calculating lost earnings is easy. For those who work on commission or are self-employed, the task is more complex.

Self-employed car accident victims will need to keep careful records to establish the amount of car accident lost earnings. If you lost new business while disabled, it will be tempting accept the loss and devote your energy to doing the best you can. That is a mistake. You should take a moment to document the lost opportunity and make reasonable estimate of the revenue lost as a result.

Likewise, injured people who are self-employed may need to hire additional help, or pay current employees overtime, to take up the slack. Those additional expenses should be documented and made part of the personal injury claim.

Employees who work on commission face similar challenges. Everyone understands that income based on commission can be unpredictable. One approach to calculate lost commissions is to compare commission earnings while disabled to a comparable period. Perhaps showing that the number of sales during the period of disability is less than average is a more reliable way to document the loss. An qualified personal injury lawyer can help determine what proof would work best in a particular situation.

Future Car Accident Lost Earnings

Severe injuries may permanently affect a worker’s ability to earn a living. How can you be sure that a one-time recovery is enough to compensate for lost earnings over a lifetime?

Documenting lost earning capacity requires the use of expert opinions. A vocational expert is able to quantify the impact of a disability on a person’s ability to work over a lifetime. An economist can translate the vocational expert’s opinion into a dollar value. Coordinating these experts is complex, and should not be attempted without help from a qualified personal injury lawyer.