Have you lost wages after a car accident as a self-employed person? If you’ve missed work and sustained injuries after this unfortunate event, you may be able to recover some of the money you missed out on during that time.
Lost wages refer to any money you should have earned from working, starting from the date of the accident to the settlement or judgment date. The injuries must have occurred due to the crash and not previous events. If you work for yourself, this can be a bit more complicated. We’ll go over some points to keep in mind while you’re collecting information to file a claim.
Do Insurance Companies Pay for Lost Wages?
Most basic car insurance plans offer coverage for lost wages. If you don’t know whether yours does, check as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a lost wages claim will only apply to your “take-home” (or net) pay after tax deductions. If you contribute to insurance or pensions, the amount you’d normally contribute will also come out of your lost wages claim.
What else can you claim besides loss of earnings after a car accident? In addition to lost wages, you may claim future lost earnings, pain and suffering, travel costs, and other expenses. You must prove the amount of your lost wages with supporting evidence before you can receive this compensation.
Lost Earnings for the Self-Employed vs. Employees
Lost wages, also called lost income or lost compensation, refers to the money you didn’t get to make due to being injured. The earnings may also include lost business opportunities or recent profits you missed out on. If you’re self-employed as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or freelancer, proving lost income and wages can be a bit more complex. We’ll cover information for both employed and self-employed workers.
Evidence to Support Your Claim
Keep in mind that the more information you can provide on your lost income, the better your chances of success will be at recovering compensation. How do you calculate lost wages? To prove the amount you missed out on, gather the following documentation:
Proof of lost opportunity or wages: You must supply this to show how much money you would’ve earned if not for the accident. Proof of lost income and opportunities can include business invoices or receipts, correspondence with other professionals, and previous tax or 1099 forms that show your earnings.
Pay slips and financial records: Keep any pay stubs or financial records from before the time of your injury. This will give an accurate depiction of the amount you usually earn and help clarify what your lost wages should look like.
Medical documentation: If you’ve suffered injuries from your accident, make sure you hold onto any medical documents that prove it. This can include your bills from fulfilling prescriptions and visiting the hospital, a doctor’s note for missing work, and more.
Missed overtime: Did you miss out on overtime when you were out of work with a car accident-related injury? Try to find supporting documentation of the amount you would have earned had you been able to fulfill your overtime hours.
Missed career advancement: If you were away from work for a prolonged period of time, you may have missed out on career advancement opportunities due to your accident. Is there any evidence you can present to show a missed promotion opportunity or pay raise?
Employer letter: If you have an employer, ask them for a letter that explains your employment status, identification details, hours missed, compensation, and other related information.
The amount of time you spent out of work can be a reliable indicator of how serious your accident was. If your independent work or business has been consistent, you can use your previous year’s tax return to calculate damages. If your self-employed work is irregular or involves growing profits, working with a personal injury attorney is a good idea as proving damages can be trickier in this case.
Can I Claim Stress After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligent driving, you may recover compensation for pain and suffering in addition to lost wages and expenses. People who have suffered a serious accident often develop PTSD or other mental complications, for example. In this case, a personal injury lawsuit could help you recover damages for stress after a car wreck.
Can I Claim for Future Loss of Earnings?
If you’ve missed more work than you originally expected and won’t be able to return to your job when your claim is finished, you may need to calculate future losses. Future loss of earnings compensation is based on an injury seriously diminishing your ability to earn money in the future. Even if you were unemployed when you were injured, the court may still award you with future loss of earnings.
This amount isn’t calculated based on your pre-injury earnings or how much you make after the injury. Rather, it depends on your ability to earn income. The court may determine your earning capacity from before the accident and compare it with the reduced capacity from your injury.
To build a case for future loss of earnings, you’ll need medical evidence that states expectations of future recovery. If you can’t return to work, you might need to calculate when you should’ve been able to retire had the injury never happened. Even if you weren’t completely disabled from the car accident, you should be able to claim future lost wages with the right legal assistance.
Need Help with a Lost Wages Claim in Arizona?
Suffering an injury and missing work is a huge inconvenience, so attempting to make up for what you lost can be essential for full recovery. If you’re starting a personal injury claim, getting legal guidance can mean the difference between missing out on money and getting the compensation you deserve.
When you’re self-employed, proving lost wages can be a bit more difficult and complicated. Speak with a personal injury attorney today to find out what your next step should be.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.