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Personal Injury Loss of Wages Calculation

Posted on: July 17, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

personal injury

If you have missed work from a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the lost wages and accumulating expenses. An insurance company claims adjuster will not have your best interests at heart when calculating your loss of wages claim. You are always your own best advocate. Therefore, it is up to you to calculate an accurate and comprehensive loss of wages estimate with correlating documentation for presentation to the insurance company or the court.

While this may seem like a relatively simple endeavor, there are factors you should understand and include in your calculation. Use this article as a basic guide for calculating your loss of wages due to an accident. When in doubt, consult an experienced personal accident attorney with your questions.

Wages vs. Compensation

In the eyes of the courts, wages and compensation can be two separate items. Insurance companies will often lump all the compensation offered into one sum and call it income, but understanding the difference is important.

  • Wages (or Income) is the amount of money paid to you by your employer for the work you perform. It can be paid in various time increments and come by check or direct deposit.
  • Compensation represents additional financial benefits provided by your employer, and what you have the capacity to earn. It includes vacation days, sick days, bonuses and other perks that are yours from your employer.

Many of these are commonly overlooked when calculating the loss of wages from a personal injury. However, if the possibility exists that you would have or could have benefitted from these other compensation items (i.e.: bonuses), or you were forced to use them because of the accident (i.e.: sick or vacation days), you are entitled to recover financial compensation for them.

Evidence of Lost Income

To provide an adequate accounting of lost income and/or lost income capacity, two things are absolutely necessary: a comprehensive medical exam and a letter from your employer.

  • Medical Exam – Before any time off work can be compensated, you must have suffered legitimate injuries that make necessary the time missed. Your physician should provide a written explanation of your comprehensive medical evaluation, detailing any and all injuries and a prognosis for recovery. It must state in detail all treatment prescribed and the expected time to be missed from work for recovery. The more detailed and comprehensive a narrative the doctor can provide, the stronger your case.
  • Letter From Your Employer – This serves as legitimate proof of the income and additional compensation to which you are entitled, and demonstrates the amounts lost during your treatment and resulting recovery. It should be on company letterhead and signed by as high a representative of your employer as possible. This letter should show:
    • The days you were absent
    • Your pay or salary at the time of injury
    • The number of hours you normally work each pay period
    • Any overtime worked up to 12 months before the injury
    • Any special projects involving you that would have resulted in additional compensation
    • Any promotion for which you were under consideration, but now isn’t available
    • Any lost rewards for work performance, including vacations, etc.
    • Vacation, sick and bonus days used while recovering
    • Any other benefits lost

How Much is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?

There are many factors involved when calculating a personal injury loss of wages claim, and allowances vary between states. While you may be able to construct a fairly reasonable claim on your own, a personal injury attorney can always provide advice and expertise. The attorneys of Edwards and Patterson Law are your personal injury professionals in Tulsa, McAlester and eastern Oklahoma. We have years of experience dealing with the courts and insurance companies of our area, to get you the most favorable compensation possible. Call us at 877-403-8417 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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