After a car crash, there are many things you have to think about. You need to plan for medical care, find ways to pay your bills and focus on your recovery. With so much going on in your life, you may not feel like you have time to fight with an insurance company or to spend time negotiating.
It’s a good idea to think about your decisions carefully, though, because if you’ve lost wages now or may in the future, you want to be fairly compensated. Your attorney can help you negotiate once you get him or her the appropriate paperwork describing your income and the income you’re losing due to your injuries.
1. Prove that you’re unable to work
To start with, you’ll need medical documents detailing your condition and the level of work you’re expected, or not expected, to do. A doctor’s note or disability slip lets insurance companies and others understand that you’re unable to work while you recover.
2. Calculate what you’ve lost
The next step is to calculate what you’ve lost by looking at your hourly wages or annual salary. For hourly wages, multiply the number of days and hours you’ve lost. For example, if you missed eight days of work during which you’d have worked 12 hours each day, you can multiply those to find you missed 96 hours of work. Multiple that by your standard hourly wage to get your total lost wages.
If you are on an annual salary, divide your yearly salary by 2080 (the number of weekdays in each year). Next, multiply the number of hours you missed times the number of days to get your total lost wages.
3. Consider what you’ll lose in the future
It’s not just past wages that you have to consider. Because of your injuries, you may lose future work as well. If you will miss several months or years of work, you need to calculate what you’ll lose during that time.
For instance, if you’ll miss a year of work and are on a salary, it’s easy to state what you should receive for missing work. For hourly employees, you may need to take an average number of hours worked over the last year and calculate your income to find how much you should have earned if you were working.
4. Remember other sources of income
Hobby incomes, payments for babysitting and other income may play a role in your life. If so, it’s important that you consider these losses as well as your primary income losses.
These are just a few things to think about when considering your lost wages after a car crash. Getting an appropriate settlement can help you focus on your recovery instead of your lost income.