Car accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. But even if you survive, the long-term consequences can push you in a direction that can be hard to come back from. One of the largest burdens that come along with an injury from a car accident is the financial ramifications.
Medical bills, car repairs, and time away from your job can all add up into a whirlwind of financial ruin. Thankfully, insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits are not limited to covering your medical expenses. By adequately calculating and claiming all of your related costs and lost income, you can find stable ground again and begin to move forward from this traumatic experience.
Lost income is one of the most contentious issues in personal injury settlements in Long Island. With more gig workers, freelancers, and people with multiple jobs than ever before, calculating your lost income can be challenging to do. And proving the amount of missed wages is accurate can be even more difficult to do if you are one of the many people working as a sole proprietor or without full-time status.
A Long Island car accident lawyer will be your best resource when it comes to having a successful claim or settlement. Experienced personal injury attorneys will have seen every type of employment under the sun, especially in urban areas.
Diminished Earning Capacity
Not only will you lose money while you recover from an injury after a car accident, but you may also suffer long-term consequences that may limit your future earnings. Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and mobility impairments are just some of the many results of a severe crash that can alter the way you can think or move.
Calculating diminished earnings or lost future wages is extraordinarily complex and will depend on your career. Usually, your attorney can bring a forensic economist onto the team to determine how much you were likely to make in the rest of your career. Even if you are able to continue working in a limited capacity, your economic future could be very different than before. Seeking damages for diminished earnings is a key part of ensuring this accident doesn’t ruin your life.
Sick Leave or Vacation Pay
Oftentimes, an employer will allow you to use sick days or vacation pay while you are recovering from your injury. This can be helpful in the short term, but it is important to note one thing. Even if you use your sick leave or PTO, you are still eligible to claim lost wages for that time. Without the car accident, those credits would have been better spent on a mental health day or a vacation. Don’t feel like you are not entitled to compensation.
How is it Calculated?
Lost earnings are calculated in one of two ways, depending on how you are usually paid. If your job gives you hourly wages, you will have to determine how many hours of work you missed due to your injury and multiply it by your hourly wage.
In the case of a monthly or yearly salary, you can determine the lost income with a simple calculation. There are 2080 working hours in a calendar year, based on 40 hours per week and 52 weeks in one year. For example, if you missed eight days of work and make $35,000 per year from your salary, the lost income would be ($35,000 / 2080) x (8 hours x 8 days) = $1,076.92.
If you work regular overtime or have lost a bonus at work because of your missed time, this can also be factored into your claim for lost income.
If you are a freelancer, lost income can be claimed by showing documentation for the work you would have been doing during the time you were out of commission. Invoices, correspondence with clients, or receipts for standard work arrangements can all be used to verify your claim.
Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.