When an individual is injured in an automobile accident, or injured at the hands of another through an act of negligence, the law permits that person to recovery economic and non-economic losses.
If the individual must lose time at work, do to their injuries, they may recover their lost wages from the at-fault party's insurance company.
The recovery of past lost wages-considered a form of economic loss- in some personal injury claims amounts to little more than mathematics. The average weekly hours a person works before their accident, multiplied buy their hourly wage, multiplied by the amount of time missed. They calculation might be even more straight forward for salaried individuals.It might be a little more complicated where an hourly employee earns overtime, or is paid a differential.
But what about someone who works on commissions, or earns tips? While it would seem fair to say that a the past year's income should be considered as evidence of what that person would make now? But, remember damages, of which lost wages are a component, must be proven with certainty in a personal injury case. What about a real estate salesperson who earned a huge commission on a once in a lifetime multimillion dollar property 6 months ago. Is that a fair reflection of what they were likely to make because of their injury. It cuts both ways. What about a pharmaceutical representative who had not closed a single account in 6 months. Was that dry spell a fair indicator of what they would earn, but for their injury? The arguments made to insurance adjusters, judge or juries sometime have to get creative, and detailed. If you’ve lost substantial time due to an injury, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to examine the best methods to argue, and ultimately prove, your lost wage claim.
-This Article was update by Eric Kirk on 6/4/20.