Whether you have been involved in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, or any other type of personal injury claim, you may need to take some time to recover after your injury. That may include spending time in the hospital while you go through treatment, undergoing surgery, or just taking it easy at home while you rest. All of that time keeps you away from your job, which can result in lost wages. This is true even if you use vacation or sick time—you still could have used that time for other things if the accident had not occurred.
How do you determine the amount of lost wages?
Determining lost wages is usually straightforward. It includes any money that you would have received if you had been working. For many people, assessing your damages means simply adding up the number of hours that you missed and multiplying that number by the amount you earn per hour.
If you earn commission or bonuses, your lost wage calculation becomes more complicated. You likely have to predict what you would have made during the time that you were away from work. The most common way to do this to take an average of your commission or bonuses. You may be able to divide that average out by the day, week, month, or year to determine what you would have earned while you were away from work.
If you are on salary and your wages did not stop while you were hurt, you may not be able to recover lost wages. Your attorney will be able to examine your situation and determine whether you can get lost wages as part of your claim.
What is the difference between lost wages and loss of earning capacity?
Loss of earning capacity is also a damage that is available in personal injury claims. The main difference between these two types of damages is that one has occurred in the past and the other is an estimate of future losses.
Loss of earning capacity attempts to compensate you for the decreased ability that you will have to work in the future. It doesn’t necessarily tie to loss of hours, but it pays you for your reduced ability to earn a living. For example, imagine that you worked as a mechanic before a car accident that caused a back injury. Your accident has decreased your ability to do work overhead and restricted your ability to do your job as a mechanic. If that is the case, then you should be compensated for the losses associated with your inability to do that work in the future.
In many cases, you are entitled to both lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Learn more by speaking with the team at John Foy & Associates. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.