So, you’ve been injured in an accident, and are seeking compensation so you can be made whole for your losses. Part of your loss includes any money that you’ve missed out on earning from your job due to the injuries. At first, glance, coming up with this dollar amount seems fairly simple: Just provide proof from your boss that you are unable to work, and a note from your doctor that states the length of time it will take for you to recover, right? Unfortunately, calculating your lost wages can be a bit more complicated than that.
Most importantly, you should do your best to minimize the amount of income that you lose. To the fullest extent possible, the law requires you to mitigate your damages by returning to your work as soon as you are physically able.
However, if your injuries are such that you cannot safely perform your job without risking harm to your health and well being, then you have no choice in the matter. In the event you are missing time from work, be sure that your doctor provides you with written authorization to be out of work. Also, be sure to have sufficient documentation of your usual rate of pay and the number of hours that you end up missing from your job.
If you have the sort of injury that will disrupt your income for a significant period of time, your attorney can help you make sure that you do everything necessary to present that claim in the strongest light possible.
Your Job Mobility
The mobility of your job is another gray area that your attorney will consider when constructing your case. Some jobs have the potential for extremely high mobility, like government or law positions, while others remain pretty stagnant, like secondary school teachers. It is obviously not possible to accurately predict your ability to be promoted within a field, but when combined with averages and subtracted from your current abilities and opportunities to work, the court can arrive at a relatively fair compensation, considering those circumstances.
Documenting a “Permanent Injury” Case
For example, you are a brilliant graduate student who is about to receive a Ph.D. in Physics. Currently, you are getting paid a nominal fee as a Teacher’s Assistant, grading papers and occasionally teaching classes. Unfortunately, you suffer severe brain damage and lose much of your ability to do the math and think abstractly – leaving your work options to bagging groceries or working in fast food. The personal injury attorney would argue that had the accident not occurred, you would have become extremely successful in your physics career, making a substantial yearly income for a long period of time. Your doctor, your colleagues, and even an economist would be at the trial to further testify this to be an accurate prediction.
Because calculating lost wages is not always an exact science, the success of your case will rely heavily on the persuasiveness of your attorney!
If you have any questions on how to calculate lost wages due to personal injury, don’t hesitate to contact Bruce A. Hagen, your personal injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia.