How Do I Calculate Lost Wages in an Injury Claim?

Lost wages are often a big part of personal injury claims for victims of serious accidents. While recovering lost wages may appear to be as simple as multiplying your daily wage by the number of days you missed, it usually is not. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, there could be more factors to consider. Below, we explain more on how to calculate lost wages in an injury claim.

How to Calculate Lost Wages

Calculating the sum of your lost earnings is the simplest way in which you can recover wages. That makes it an ideal starting point for guiding you through your wage recovery calculation. Let us assume the following apply to your case:

  • You work 40 hours per week. You make $25 an hour ($1,000 per week).
  • Your accident caused you to miss four weeks of work.
  • Your doctor provided documentation of your injuries, and a note advising you to take four weeks off from work.

In this case, calculating your compensation is as simple as multiplying $1,000 by four weeks, which is $4,000.

This process can be much more complicated if you work at a job in which much of your income is tips or commission. If this is the case, we will work with an expert to determine what you might expect to recover.

What Happens If I Was Involved in a More Serious Accident?

Victims involved in more serious accidents deal with more complications. If your accident left you with more serious injuries, you may find yourself missing months of work or working less hours each week. You might also need to change jobs or even retire from the workforce.

Determining Your Losses if Your Injury Resulted in a Job Change

Looking for new work is an unfortunately common outcome of serious injuries. In such cases, S. Burke Law seeks the following on your behalf if your injuries require a lower-compensated career change:

  • Compensation for the time it took you to find a new job
  • The lost income you incur from taking the lower paying job (if you made $60,000 in your previous position but now only make $45,000, you are entitled to that $15,000 difference)

Calculating Your Lost Earning Potential If Your Injury Caused You to Retire

This is the worst-case scenario, but not one S. Burke Law has not encountered in the past. If you are unable to work, our firm will introduce an expert witness to assess your long-term financial losses. And we will consider the following for your damages:

  • Employment history to determine your career trajectory
  • Your age to determine how much longer you expected to work
  • Education to determine earning potential
  • Relevant skills to determine earning potential
  • Salary history

For example, let us say you are a 50-year-old financial professional. You make $50,000 a year. You expected to retire at 65. You could be entitled to $750,000 in lost wages.

Determining lost wages and lost earning capacity can be complex and will likely require bringing on an expert witness to calculate.

Can I Only Recover Compensation for My Lost Wages?

No. You are entitled to compensation for all lost benefits and contributions related to your profession. This might include:

  • Commissions in addition to your salary
  • Tips
  • Bonuses you might miss out on by being unable to meet your yearly goals
  • Potential promotions
  • Pension benefits
  • Fringe benefits
  • 401(k) contributions

We will discuss your case with vocational and financial experts to determine exactly how much your injury cost you in work-related benefits and contributions.

Get Help from the Team at S. Burke Law

Inability to return to work is a devastating outcome for anyone recovering from a personal injury. And while you deserve to receive compensation for every cent you lost due to your injury, insurance companies often do not share this view.

Insurance companies are businesses and, as such, will likely do whatever they can to avoid paying you what they owe you. Fortunately, S. Burke Law’s founder, Sheryl Burke, worked as an insurance adjuster before opening her firm.

This means she knows not only what tactics the insurers might use to devalue your claim but also how to protect you and your claim from them. Sheryl Burke and her team will handle your case, obtaining your W-2s and paystubs and discussing your case with economic and vocational experts to determine exactly what your injury cost you in lost wages, benefits, and contributions.

Call us at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation.