What are “Lost Wages” in a Kentucky Personal Injury Case?
Accidents in Kentucky can put financial pressure on victims from all sides. On one side they can face enormous medical costs after getting hurt in an accident that wasn’t their fault. On the other side, victims can also lose valuable time at work and suddenly be without the paychecks they’d need to pay towards their hospital bills and even to keep up with normal monthly bills.
This loss of pay quickly creates monetary strife for someone who should be allowed to focus on their physical recovery. There are ways victims can recover lost wages after an accident. It involves the filing of a claim for damages and making sure an insurance company is alerted to the hardships a victim is facing.
What Are Lost Wages in a Kentucky Accident Claim?
When most people think of personal injury claims, they usually focus on the hospital bills that have built up after an accident. At-fault parties and their insurance providers should be called upon to help with every cost of recovery.
But your injury may prevent you from returning to work for weeks or months after your incident. And while you heal after an accident, you can be missing out on thousands of dollars in earnings from your job or career. During this time you can fall behind on important payments and begin to lose the credit standing you worked so hard to maintain.
Factors in a Claim for Lost Wages
Every hour of pay you miss while down with an injury should earn you compensation. However, there are more damages you and your family can endure when you miss shifts at your place of work:
- Falling behind on car payments, rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, credit card bills, and other monthly bills.
- Late fees and penalties from missed payments.
- A drop in your credit score.
- Loss of retirement contributions.
- Loss of raises or promotions.
- Lost training opportunities.
Your personal injury attorney would work to show proof of all of these losses and what they were worth so that you wouldn’t have to take a financial hit now or in the future due to someone else’s mistake.
What Happens if I Use Vacation or Sick Days While I’m Out
You may have moved some vacation time around to cover the weeks you are out with injury. Or you could have taken sick days while missing work. This can ensure that you get paid while you heal, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reimbursed for your losses.
You may have intended to use that vacation for something much more fun than injury recovery. Since the accident was caused by an individual or entity, and not you, the vacation time you’ve used should earn you compensation.
Proving Your Wage Losses After an Accident
If you work on commission or are self-employed, showing your losses may be challenging. But with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can find ways to illustrate the money you’ve lost and the earning opportunities that have been squandered while you are healing.
When you run your own business, the damages suffered due to the customers you’ve lost can also greatly affect your monthly income. This might be harder to show on a paystub, but there are ways to compare your business profits before you got hurt and after. Showing proof of the customers you had to cancel on or the resources you missed out on while down with a broken bone or a back injury can convince a jury of what you’ve suffered.
When you work off of commission or depend on tips, you can work to show your average take-home pay each month. You can also demonstrate how busy and slow periods in your line of work would affect your pay.
Lost Earning Capacity After a Kentucky Accident
You may reach an insurance settlement while you are still healing. In these cases, any time away from work you are expected to endure in the future would have to be estimated and could be factored into a settlement or court judgment.
But what if your injuries are so severe that your ability to complete your previous duties at work is affected? What if your ability to earn a living will be affected over a lifetime? This can be the case with a severe injury and a permanent disability.
You would file a claim of Lost Earning Capacity instead of simply Lost Wages. Along with the medical expense of dealing with a lifelong injury, you may have to ask for medical equipment and money for office and home renovations that allow you the freedom to continue working.
Your claim could also ask for help with the costs of training for a new career and even college tuition. For more information on Lost Earning Capacity, you can visit our informational page here.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Kentucky Victims
After getting hurt in an accident, you’ll have to work through recovery and make sure you don’t get stuck with the bill for your care. Your next concern will likely be the time you’ve had to be away from your job and how that will affect your attempt to rebuild your life.
Making a full recovery only to come home to face a stack of unpaid bills isn’t a proper homecoming for an injury victim. A skilled Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney will make sure victims are treated fairly and can return to work with all the benefits they should have earned while away.
When you have questions about how you will support yourself and your family after a serious accident, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, for a free case evaluation session. This informational session comes with no obligation to you. Our goal is to make sure you are informed of everything an insurance company can be held responsible for after you’ve had to miss work hours due to your injury.