Calculating Lost Wages in a Virginia Injury Lawsuit

Stephen M. Smith
Last Updated:
November 26, 2019

Injuries are painful and traumatic. As well as the pain and discomfort, the victim can suffer a serious loss of income in the form of wages and other benefits. You may not be paid for the time you are at the hospital or you may lose your job. A Virginia personal injury lawyer will calculate lost future and past wages in a Virginia injury lawsuit.

People who were injured due to the negligence of another party can seek lost wages in their personal injury claim. These damages should include money you lose in salary, fringe benefits, bonuses, or any other compensation you can no longer earn due to your injury.

If, for example, you are a private contractor such as a rideshare driver who is injured due to the fault of another motorist, you may no longer be able to go out on the road. The at-fault driver can be held liable for your lost income.

Calculating lost wages in a Virginia injury lawsuit is no straightforward task. If you attempt to do it without the help of a professional, you may lose out.

Our Hampton-based injury lawyers have helped people who lost wages through injuries since the 1940s. Many of the people we represent suffered serious head injuries. Often, they had to relinquish their jobs altogether or take a lesser paying job due to the fault of another person or business. Please contact us today over lost wages.

How to Calculate Lost Wages in a Virginia Injury Lawsuit

An attorney who files a personal injury lawsuit is faced with many complicated considerations. It’s more straightforward to calculate lost wages than other items like pain and suffering. However, calculating future lost earnings is more complicated and may involve input from economic experts.

Lost wages in a personal injury claim cover:

  1. Any earnings the injured party lost due to his or her inability to work in their chosen field.
  2. Any loss of future earnings or decrease in your earning capacity.

What is the Situation When a Virginia Employer Gives You Sick Pay?

Even if your employer gave you sick pay while you were recovering from the injury, you are entitled to seek damages for lost wages. It’s unfair that an injured person should use up their sick pay due to the fault of a party who injured them.

You may claim damages for lost or diminished earning capacity if another person’s negligence left you with a permanent injury that means you can no longer do the type of work your training and education prepared you for.

If, for example, you were training to be an architect but ended up working in a store because of a brain injury, you should be compensated for lost income.

What Other Wage-Related Items Can You Make a Claim For in a Lawsuit?

A claim for lost wages goes over and above a worker’s base salary. It can include:

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Likely salary increases, raises based on merit, and cost of living increases
  • Retirement fund contributions and money your employer adds to a pension
  • Overtime benefits
  • Additional compensation linked to performance that was available before your accident
  • Compensation for lost advancement opportunities

What To Do If You Require Time Off Work After an Accident

If your doctor tells you time off work is necessary after your injury, ask the medical professional how long you should remain out of work in order to fully heal.  Make sure the doctor puts this information in writing and signs it. Insurance companies will often seek to reduce lost work claims post-injury. Ask the doctor to keep a copy in your medical file. You should keep a copy as well.

Talk to your employer early on about time lost from work. Find out how much money you will lose if you follow the doctor’s recommendation.

Ensure your boss gives you a written indication of how much money you will lose by taking time off work.

Talk to a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer about Lost Wages

At the Smith Law Center, our experienced team will calculate lost wages as well as all other aspects of an injury claim like pain and suffering. We can also help you to make a workers’ compensation claim. We know how stressful the loss of income, emotional toll and pain of an injury is to an accident victim and we will help you recover as much as possible. Please call us today for a free consultation at (757) 244-7000.

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About Smith Law Center

Our lawyers are more than lawyers. They are people who understand your injuries and the law that surrounds your options when it comes to holding others accountable.

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