Seeking compensation for lost wages is crucial after getting hurt in an accident. If you can’t return to work or need time off for doctor’s appointments, the income you don’t earn can cause financial strain. Calculating lost wages is fairly simple. However, it involves more than adding the wages you haven’t been able to earn since the accident. You must also consider the pay you will be unable to make in the future if your injury is permanent or disabling.
What Constitutes Lost Wages in New York?
Lost wages are financial compensation a person can pursue to cover the income they aren’t earning after getting hurt in an accident someone else caused. You should try to recover your lost wages by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the party who is at fault for your injuries.
Various types of injuries can prevent you from returning to work or completing your usual tasks. When that happens, you can file a lost wage claim and seek compensation to cover the income you’re unable to make while out of work or performing at a limited functional capacity.
Wages include more than a base hourly or salary pay. They involve additional income you might receive in the course of employment, such as:
- Bonuses – You must submit proof of the bonuses you received in the past. If you don’t typically get bonuses from your employer, you won’t be able to recover compensation for that particular benefit. The bonuses you receive should be integral to your income. Copies of prior checks or paystubs showing past bonuses are sufficient evidence.
- Health insurance, 401(k) plan, and other benefits – Employee benefits are critical to any job. If you can’t do your job, you can’t contribute to your 4019(k) or another retirement plan through your employer. You might also have to pay out of pocket for medical treatment if you don’t get medical coverage while out of work.
- Overtime pay – If you regularly work beyond your normal hours and receive overtime pay, compensation from a claim or lawsuit should cover any missed overtime due to your injury.
- Other occupational perks – You might receive perks as an employee of a company. You can claim expenses for specific perks, such as a gym membership or company vehicle, if you can’t return to your job for a significant timeframe.
How to Determine Lost Wages After an Accident
Calculating your lost wages doesn’t involve a complicated formula. Simply multiply the number of hours you don’t work by your hourly pay if you’re an hourly employee. You can also add in employee perks, health insurance coverage, commissions, and other types of wages.
If you work on salary, divide your annual pay by the number of work days in one year. Multiply that number by the number of hours you cannot work.
How Long Does It Take to Get Reimbursed for Lost Wages After an Accident?
You can’t predict when you’ll receive compensation for your lost wages. The timeframe differs from one person to the next. It often depends on the size of the claim, complicating factors, and the insurance company’s caseload.
Some claims settle quickly. Others take months to resolve. The insurance company might deny the claim or offer an inadequate settlement. If that happens, you might need to file a lawsuit, which takes much longer than injury claims. You could spend months or more fighting for compensation before you get the money you need to cover your lost wages.
Don’t Forget About Future Lost Wages
Your lost wages can include income you can’t earn in the future due to a disability or permanent injury. However, future lost wages differ from past lost wages. It involves a more complicated formula, especially while considering commissions, bonuses, and other employee benefits.
Since you can’t predict whether you can work at your current job or seek employment elsewhere at a later date, a doctor must evaluate your condition. They can assign a disability rating indicating the level of permanency of your injury and how it affects your body as a whole. You can base your calculations on that number.
Speak to a Dedicated Personal Injury Attorney in New York
At Harris Keenan & Goldfarb, we understand the consequences of getting hurt in an accident. The situation becomes overwhelming if you can’t earn a living. Our attorneys will analyze your case and calculate the appropriate value to pursue the compensation you deserve.