Accidents often leave our clients with crippling pain. Fractures, concussions, and whiplash make it difficult for people to get up in the morning and go into work. Consequently, they can lose thousands of dollars for even minor injuries. And serious injuries could prevent someone from returning to work for years—possibly forever.
If you were hurt in an accident, reach out to Correll Law Firm. Our Winchester personal injury lawyer can analyze how much you might receive for lost income. We can then negotiate a favorable settlement that covers other damages, like physical pain, medical care, and property damage. You should not end up in worse financial shape following a crash that isn’t your fault.
How to Prove Lost Income
The easiest way is to have a current pay stub that shows how much you earn each pay period. You can also use a contract if you recently signed one.
People who are salaried have the easiest time showing lost income because they receive a set amount each month.
If you are paid hourly, then find recent paystubs. One complication for hourly-wage workers is that they sometimes work overtime, which can greatly increase their income. Try to document how much overtime you typically work in a year. That will help us request a fair amount to fully compensate for income loss caused by an accident.
The good news is that you can receive compensation for lost income even if you use “sick time” or personal time to rehab. Contact us with questions.
Self-Employed & Gig Workers: What Evidence Do You Need?
What happens if you are not a regular, W-2 employee? Can you still receive compensation for lost income?
The good news is that you can. However, you still need to prove with a reasonable degree of certainty the amount of money you would have made had you not suffered an accident. There are several ways to do that. Share the following information with your attorney:
- Tax returns for the most recent tax period
- Any contracts you signed for jobs
- Bank records which show how much you have earned over the past 6-12 months
With this information, we can argue that you likely would have earned a certain amount if you weren’t injured.
Permanent or Long-Lasting Injuries
Some injuries don’t heal fully. Our clients are permanently disabled, which means they might not be able to return to their old jobs. Someone could have constant pain in a body part, whereas others might be unable to walk.
For example, you might have worked at a loading dock where you loaded and unloaded trucks all day. However, after suffering an amputation in a crush injury, you can no longer go back to the loading dock, which means you will need a new job. Or maybe you were a cop or security guard who walked a beat every night for 6 hours. After suffering a painful lower back injury, you can no longer walk at all.
In these examples, accident victims cannot return to their old jobs—even though they have “recovered” as much as they ever will. Instead, they might need to accept a new job that pays far less than they are used to. That cop might only be able to work as a receptionist because she can’t move around as much as before, or an injured victim might only work part time.
When permanent injuries prevent a return to your old job, you might qualify for “loss of earning capacity” damages. Depending on your degree of impairment, you might qualify for a lot of money.
Some people cannot work any job at all because of a total disability. Think of a motorcyclist paralyzed below the neck due to a devastating crash. This person can also seek damages for loss of earning capacity.
What Will Limit Your Ability to Receive Lost Income Damages?
Many clients are upset when they don’t receive full compensation for their lost income. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
For one, you could be partially at fault for your accident. Imagine you are struck in an intersection by someone running a red light. However, your car was halfway in the intersection as you waited for your light to turn green. Virginia’s contributory negligence law prevents victims from receiving any compensation if they were partially at fault. That means you might not receive compensation for any type of loss, not even lost income.
Another limitation might be the defendant’s lack of money or insurance. Imagine you are permanently disabled from the neck down. You might lose out on 30 years of income, which could be millions of dollars. Unfortunately, some defendants don’t have that kind of money to pay a settlement. Instead, the only pool of money might be their car insurance. In Virginia, the minimum required is $30,000 per person injured in an accident.
Correll Law Firm always tries to get as much compensation as possible for our clients. We analyze whether we can add another defendant who might share fault for the crash. For example, many truck accident victims will sue a trucker and their employer, the trucking company. We might also sue a loading company or another driver on the road, which improves the odds of full compensation.
We will also look at whether you have underinsured motorist insurance, called UIM. This coverage can help cover any losses that exceed the defendant’s insurance.
Call Our Law Firm Today
Accidents cause horrifying injuries and can increase financial distress. While you have massive medical bills, you cannot work and possibly cannot return to work for years. You need expert legal advice so that you can receive as big a settlement as possible.
Call Correll Law Firm today at (540) 535-2005. Our Winchester personal injury lawyer will swing into action and seek lost income and other damages so that you can move forward with your life. We represent personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis, so there is no risk to picking up the phone and talking with our firm.