If you were seriously injured in an accident that took place in or around Virginia Beach, there is a high probability you will be required to take time off from work to fully recover from the bodily harm endured in the collision. In some instances, accident victims may be so badly injured that they will be forced to look for a different field of employment, or could be fully disabled. The sudden loss of income can wreak havoc on an individual’s life and financial health (along with mental health due to stress and anxiety associated with not being able to pay necessary expenses such as rent, utilities, school, and so forth). This is why it makes sense to contact a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer to get an assessment of your legal options, including possibly filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party that caused the accident.
Lost wages are a key part of damages in any personal injury case. If you were in the hospital and missed four months of work as a result of the accident, then it is not difficult to quantify how much your lost wages would be for that period of time: the amount that you were not paid for that four months is a fairly simple calculation. Where it becomes more difficult is when it comes to quantifying the amount that you will lose in the future as a result of your injuries given that you may have a permanent impairment that could result in an inability to continue in your current field. If the work that you are able to do with the impairments that you have as a result of your injuries from this accident, then you can recover under Virginia law for the difference between what you have made in income over your career if the accident had never happened and how much you will actually make with the limitations you now have as a result of your injuries from that accident.
Proving Lost Wages in a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Claim
Depending on the specific facts of your case and your particular injuries, lost wages and lost future earning capacity might play a significant role in the valuation of damages in your personal injury claim. When it comes time to prove those damages for purposes of either settlement negotiations or a trial, the central issue is properly calculating both your immediate lost income and any potential loss in future earning capacity. This can be accomplished by utilizing the services of expert economists and vocational professionals to help develop models and income ranges, again, depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
Certain documents can be presented as evidence to help substantiate your lost wage claim. These documents include:
- Copy of your W-2(s) from the most recent tax year(s);
- Paystubs (you should have them from before and after the accident to show the difference);
- Wage Verification from your Employer (ask the insurance company for a “salary/wage verification form” or simply have your employer do a note listing your normal wages, your normal hours per week and your dates missed from work; or
- If you are self-employed, you will need to provide other documentation, such as tax returns or your accounts receivable.
In addition to the documents described above, you will also need to produce medical records reflecting the scope of your harm and establishing that the time missed from work is due to the harms suffered in the accident caused by the defendant in your personal injury claim.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you were harmed in an accident in or around Virginia Beach, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free, confidential case review. We understand what it takes to properly establish the income you lost (both immediate and long-term) as a result of a preventable accident caused by the negligence of another.
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.