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How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm Team

The last thing anyone should have to worry about is that they will sustain an injury that was caused by another person’s negligence. However, personal injury cases arise in this area all the time and in various ways. This can include car accidents, slip, and fall incidents, workplace accidents, and more. When this happens, the injury victim is usually entitled to varying types of compensation for their damages. This will typically include coverage of their medical bills as well as pain and suffering damages. However, lost wages are also part often part of a personal injury settlement. Understanding how lost wages are calculated is important.

Why Are Lost Wages Included?

Lost wages are important because, in many cases, a personal injury victim is unable to work while they recover. In some instances, an injury victim is temporarily disabled and will be unable to work for extended periods of time. For some of the worst personal injury cases, a victim will be unable to return to work at all due to disabilities caused by their injuries.

In these cases, victim’s lost wages can significantly impact their ability to support themselves and their families. Lost wages, like medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses, are a vital part of making a person whole after they have been harmed due to the negligence of another person.

How to Calculate Lost Wages?

Calculating a person’s lost wages will require some effort on the part of a Miami personal injury attorney to ensure the correct amount is part of the overall negotiations. For these cases, you may need a variety of documents to prove lost wages. This could include:

  • Past check stubs
  • Previous years’ tax returns
  • Direct deposit documentation
  • Employment letters
  • Bank statements

Using this information, you will work to calculate an average daily or weekly amount and multiply the amount by how many days of work were missed. To properly calculate lost wages, you should not reach a settlement until you are able to return to work, which is typically when you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).

What About Future Earnings Does Person Lose Out On?

There are two scenarios in which lost wages could be harder to calculate. This includes (1) if a person is disabled and unable to return to work at all and (2) if a person is disabled and unable to return to the same job, but is able to work a job in which they have to work for lower pay.

In these cases, there will need to be some estimation done when calculating total lost wages. This will involve looking at a worker’s pay history as well as their expected lifetime earnings (while would include calculating expected pay raises, promotions, etc.).

Do You Need an Attorney to Help With This?

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person and have incurred lost wages, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. These cases can become complex, and the insurance carriers are going to do what they can to pay as little as possible in an eventual settlement. An attorney will ensure you are treated fairly throughout the entire process and work to properly calculate your total lost wages.

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