In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be facing physical injuries, emotional trauma, and the financial burden of medical bills. But what if the accident has also caused you to miss work? You may be eligible for financial compensation to reimburse you for your lost wages. Below, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys discuss what to know about lost wages and how to calculate lost wages after a California car accident.

How to Calculate Lost Wages After a Car Accident

In the context of a car accident claim, lost wages refer to the money you would have earned at work if you had not been injured in a car accident and missed work.

Many car accident injuries will result in you missing work. Even if you are only out of work for a short period of time, that is money you would have had if not for the accident. You deserve to recover that compensation. Whether you are part-time, full-time, salaried, or self-employed, you deserve reimbursement for the money you would have made if not for the accident and your resulting injuries.Firefighters trying to turn a car over after it was thrown sideways after an accident

Calculating lost wages include more than your regular pay. Depending on your unique situation, a lost wages claim may also include the following:

  • Overtime pay
  • Vacation days
  • Sick days
  • Tips
  • Commissions
  • 401(k) contributions
  • Bonuses
  • Company perks

How to Calculate Lost Wages for Your Injury Claim

Not everyone is paid by the same standards. Therefore, determining how much you are entitled to in total lost wages can be confusing and complicated. This is especially true if you are still out of work from your injuries and do not know when you will be able to return.

We recommend working with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney for help with your claim. An attorney can help you calculate the value of your wages and other damages, such as loss of future earning potential, medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering.

Below, we discuss how you can calculate basic lost income to give you a starting point of how much you may be entitled.

Calculating Lost Wages for Hourly Employee

If you get paid by the hour, multiply your hourly wage by the hours of work you have missed. For example, suppose you work 40 hours per week and make $20 per hour or $800 per week. You missed six weeks of work due to your injuries. In this case, your wages are $800 multiplied by six weeks, which is $4,800.

Keep in mind that the process of calculating your lost wages is more complex if most of your income is tips or commission-based.Couple sitting down and looking over their financial documents while calculating

How to Calculate Lost Wages for Salaried Employee

If you are a salaried employee, the process of calculating your lost wages is similar. Divide your yearly salary by the number of hours you work per year, which is usually 2,080 hours. This number is your hourly wage. Then multiply this figure by the number of hours you could not work due to your accident injuries.

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How to Calculate Lost Wages for Self-Employed

If you are self-employed, you are still entitled to lost wages, but calculating your lost wages is more complex. We recommend working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine, prove, and claim lost income as self employed.

You will need evidence to estimate how much you would have earned as self employed if not for your car accident injuries. Proving lost income and lost earning capacity will likely require documents like tax returns, invoices, business records, and estimated quarterly tax pay-ins.

Can I Only Recover Compensation for My Lost Wages?

Wages are only one aspect of the lost compensation you may be entitled to after car accidents. In addition to the lost wages calculated, your injuries could affect other parts of your job, such as your capacity to earn income. Lost earning potential is different from lost wages. Lost earning potential is the amount of money you may have earned in the future if you were not injured. Age, employment history, education, and injuries can affect the value of your lost earning potential.

You may also be able to recover compensation for other monetary and non-monetary losses related to the accident, such as:

  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses cover a wide range of costs, including emergency care, hospital bills, surgeries, medication costs, physical therapy fees, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
  • Property damage: Suppose your vehicle and other personal property were damaged in the accident. If so, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering damages are non-monetary losses you have incurred due to the accident. For example, they cover the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and subsequent injuries.

It is important to understand that every case is different. The compensation you may be able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.Woman massaging her back from pain

Why Should I Get Help From a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer?

Calculating lost wages is an essential part of your car accident claim. However, given the complexities involved in calculating lost wages and the importance of an accurate calculation, it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling car accident cases. Depending on your unique situation, a personal injury attorney can get assistance from financial experts who can better assess your financial losses.

In addition to determining lost wages, you must prove that your injuries kept you from working and that you would have made money if you could work. How do you prove lost wages? You can prove lost wages with evidence, including but not limited to:

  • Wage documentation from your employer
  • Pay stubs
  • Income tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Medical records
  • Notes from your doctors

An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary documentation to support your income lost. More so, an attorney can guide you through the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to for your damages.

How Much Can You Get from a Car Accident?

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have more than 40 years of combined experience handling car accident cases. We have helped thousands of accident victims get the compensation they deserve after serious car accidents. Our team understands the intricacies of recovering lost wages and may be able to help you understand the value of your injury claim.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your unique situation. During a consultation, we can answer your legal questions and discuss your potential legal options for seeking compensation for your damages. Call us today at (800) 824-5416 or submit our online contact form.