Proving lost earnings is more difficult than you think. You can't recover for "speculative" lost earnings. This affects folks who get paid on commission because it's hard to show you were going to get paid when commission is, by its nature, a hit-or-miss proposition. However, when it comes to lost earnings, you have to show concrete losses. You have to show you were GOING TO GET PAID but did not BECAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT!
Also, it helps to get verification of inability to work from your doctor. If you are unable to work due to your accident, do not leave your doctor’s office without written verification of your working status from your doctor – in other words, get a “note” from your doctor! Claims for lost wages from work are dependent upon your doctor’s written verification of your work status. It is your responsibility to get this information from your physician. Oftentimes, the lawyer's office doesn't get notice of these. Without such notes from the doctor keeping you off work, your claim for wage loss, if any, will be severely hampered.
If you are going to allege lost wages, you also need verification from your employer of the dates missed and your rate of pay. If you are missing work due to the accident, your employer (the person offering verification) should know WHY you are missing work. They need to know it is accident-related. Provide your lawyer with the name/address/phone of the person who can assist with verification of your lost earnings. If your claim is significant, providing tax returns from the past 2 or 3 years is helpful to show the decline after the accident. Insurance companies often won’t pay for lost wages unless they have verification from your employer AND your doctor. Otherwise, they will simply assume you just decided to stay home, eat ice cream, and watch Seinfeld re-runs. They don't pay lost earnings because you are a nice person.
Call (661) 414-7100 if you have any questions or would like help with your personal injury case.
After a car accident, you might end up losing time from work. As a result, you may be out hundreds or thousands of dollars. The insurance company for the other party is not going to pay your lost earnings just because you are a nice person. They are going to want proof of those lost earnings.
First of all, in most cases, the insurance company is going to want to see that a doctor told you to stay off work. You can't simply choose to stay home and watch "Oprah" reruns on TV because you don't feel good. Missing one or two days from work won't require much proof but if you allege a week or more, they are going to want to see that you were advised to stay off work. That means you need to obtain and keep "stay off work" notes from your doctor.
You should also be prepared to provide a "Lost Wage Verification" of some sort. Don't sign any authorizations prepared by the opposing insurance company. You don't want them fishing through your employment records. Remember, most insurance adjusters are looking for reasons NOT to pay you. You can have your verification signed by your payroll department, a supervisor, your boss, etc. The verification is basically a letter containing the following: Your employer's name, dates of employment missed due to the accident, rate of pay, total amount of pay lost, title of the person signing the form, and their printed name and signature. If there are previous pay stubs showing regular pay, that also might help substantiate your claim. When there are significant claims for lost earning, tax returns may be necessary to show earning patterns year after year.
In summary, you need to actually prove your lost earnings claim. Documentation is key. Don't depend on the responsible party's insurance company to do this for you. Remember, they are not there to prove your case for you. You need to take control of this and be proactive.
If you need help with your personal injury case, give me a call for a free consultation. My office serves Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Newhall, Canyon Country, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and surrounding areas. Here is a link to my video regarding lost earnings.
Lost Earnings and Your Personal Injury Case
Hi, I'm Robert Mansour. Sometimes as part of your personal injury claim you might have a claim for lost earnings. Now let me make something clear - you can’t just stay home and not go to work just because you don’t feel well. You have to have a doctor’s note in most cases. Also, you have to be able to prove your lost earnings claim via tax returns, pay-stubs, and bank deposits. If you want to talk about lost earnings as part of your personal injury case, please feel free to contact my office. My name is Robert Mansour and thank you very much for watching.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.