How do I Prove Loss of Wages After a Personal Injury? 3 Things That Can Help with a Successful Claim
Loss of Wages can be detrimental to anyone following a personal injury case.
Personal injury cases in California are unique to each individual claim. There are various damages the injured party may seek, including loss of wages.
Loss of wages is defined as the amount of income one could have earned, but “lost”, due to injury. Examples can include:
- Regular pay – this is your regular, hourly pay rate.
- Overtime pay – If you frequently put in overtime, chances are it is recoverable
- Commissions – Some jobs are based on or include a commission, such as certain sales jobs. If this is a regular part of your check, it’s important to consider it in a loss of wages claim.
- Bonuses – Extra pay based on milestones or holidays can be factored into loss of wages.
- Vacation, personal or sick days – These examples of paid time off, generally accrued over time, are viable loss of wages options.
There are multiple ways to prove loss of wages. The easiest is via pay stub. A pay stub will have previous payout information.
It’s important to have at least two pay stubs: one from before, and one from after your injury. This can show the differences in wages over time.
You can also show loss of wages by your previous W-2 statements. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a W-2 is necessary for “every employer engaged in a trade or business who pays…for services performed by an employee if income, Social Security, or Medicare tax was withheld”.
A W-2 can show loss of wages in ways similar to pay stubs. If your W-2 from 2020 was higher than your 2021 W-2 (when you were injured), you have documented evidence.
Another example that can also even be included with one of the aforementioned forms of proof is a “Loss of Wages Letter”. The letter would come from your employer, and should include information such as:
- Job title
- Hire date
- Date of the accident
- How many hours you work per week
- Pay Rate
- Overtime rate, and how much OT you put in per week (if any)
- Time missed due to the accident
- Number of sick or vacation days used due to the injury
In your claim submission, you’ll also want to submit:
- Medical records
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
What if you are self-employed? Can you still try recovering loss of wages after an injury if you are your own boss?
Yes, you can still claim loss of wages if you are self-employed. You will have to prove what you would likely have made during the period you could not work. Examples of documents to verify your claim include:
- Previous tax returns
- Billing statements in the months leading up to your injury
- Billing statements for the same time period from previous years
You can file a wage claim on the California Department of Industrial Relations website. The process is often tricky, and various wrenches can be thrown into your plan.
If you have a personal injury case, the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at C&B Law Group are ready to help you navigate the complexity regarding loss of wages.
Our injury attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties that come with personal injury cases and proving such claims. An attorney can help guide you through this process.
At C&B Law Group, we have your best interest at heart, and will do whatever we can within our legal power to help you recover any and all lost wages. Our team works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t charge you anything unless we’re successful in recovering compensation from your case.
If you’re suffering the effects from lost wages, contact C&B Law Group today about receiving a free consultation!