VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello, everyone. This is Robert Mansour, and I want to spend a few minutes today talking about proving lost earnings in relation to a personal injury accident. Let's say you get into a car accident and you can't work as a result of the accident. Here's how it works. If you're only going to allege $200 or $300 in lost earnings, the insurance adjuster for the responsible party is probably not going to give you a hard time, but the more money you ask for, the more information they ask for. If you start to ask for $5,000 in lost earnings, $10,000 in lost earnings, you're going to have to provide a few things.
Number 1, you're going to have to provide evidence that you were consistently earning something and then there was a big drop after the accident. How do you prove that? Number 1, you have to have consistent earnings. If you're the kind of person who has roller coaster earnings, it's very difficult to prove lost earnings. It's an extreme uphill battle when it comes to a small business or a sole business and you have to prove steady earnings for a period of time. Contrast that to somebody who gets paid the same every 2 weeks. That person might be able to show a very big drop.
The other thing you need is you need to show that a doctor told you to stay off of work. In most cases, you're going to need to prove that a physician told you, "Listen, you need to stay off work," and that's with a doctor's note. If you want to stay off work, you better ask for that doctor's note. Sometimes the doctors don't think to give it to you, you have to actually ask for it. If you need to renew it, you have to renew it, because there's usually an expiration date. You can't just get the note and say, "Aha, I'm going to sit and watch TV all day." That's not going to work.
The other thing is the more you ask for, the more documentation they're going to need. They might start to want to see your books. They might want to see all your bookkeeping, your tax returns. They might want to see all of that information for several years back. If you're not too excited about people looking through your tax records, people looking through your books, you may not want to bring a lost earnings claim. It might be more headache than it's worth.
Also, I have seen situations where the request for lost earnings proves to be a "sideshow" that distracts from the main issue, which is the person was injured and got hurt. All of a sudden, it detracts from that portion of the case, which is more important in many cases. If you're going to bring a lost earnings claim, think long and hard about whether you really want to go through the hassle.
This has been Robert Mansour on a brief video here about lost earnings. Thank you very much for visiting, and I hope I can be of assistance. Feel free to call my office if I can be of any help in your personal injury case. Thank you very much.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,