Proving Lost Wages After a Personal Injury

By Peter DePaolis

Individuals injured in an accident or other incident may sustain physical injuries. They also may incur substantial financial losses, including lost wages. If you cannot work after a personal injury, the person who caused your injury could be liable for your lost income. 

However, seeking compensation for lost wages is not always an easy process. The insurance company may dispute liability or undervalue your damages. A DC personal injury attorney fights to get you the money you deserve after an injury.

Claims for Lost Wages After a DC Accident or Injury 

Personal injury laws give injured individuals the right to receive compensation for damages. Lost wages are an economic damage. A claim for lost wages may include the loss of:

  • Salaries and hourly wages
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Workers’ compensation benefits
  • Unemployment income
  • Earned benefits, such as vacation time and sick time

In some cases, claims for lost wages could include losing opportunities for advancement and pay increases. 

Future lost income may also be included in the claim if your injuries prevent you from returning to work. In some cases, a person may be entitled to compensation for loss of earning potential when an impairment decreases their ability to earn the same level of income they earned before the injury.

Proving a Claim for Lost Wages After an Injury

An injured person has the burden of proving they lost income because of an accident or injury. First, you must prove that the other party caused your injury. In most cases, it requires that you prove the elements of a negligence claim:

  • The party owed you a duty of care
  • The party breached the duty of care
  • The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
  • You sustained damages because of the breach of duty

Once you prove negligence, the other party can be held legally liable for your economic damages, including lost wages. However, you now must prove the value of your lost wages.

Evidence that is often used in proving a lost wages claim includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copies of pay statements 
  • Statements of missed time from work from your employer
  • Copies of tax returns, self-employment records, and other proof of income
  • Statements from your medical providers and medical experts explaining why your injuries prevent you from working 
  • Copies of your medical records explaining your injuries

When you seek future lost wages, you may also need evidence from an economist or financial expert. Estimating future loss of income and diminished earning potential can be complicated. 

Experts use a variety of factors to estimate how much money you would have earned had you been able to work. Factors used in calculating future lost wages include, but are not limited to, your age, career, education, experience, skills, and anticipated future job markets.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our DC Personal Injury Attorney

An injury can turn your life upside down. Our DC personal injury attorney helps you file claims seeking compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your case. 

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.