When discussing economic damages with a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer, most potential clients show only their medical care bill and estimate to repair their car. At this point, the attorney tells them that they are also entitled to recover lost wages after a car accident.
Let us examine this type of economic damage in detail and see what it entails.
Who Has the Right to Seek Lost Wages after a Car Accident?
Under the pure comparative negligence principle in Louisiana, everyone has the right to seek damages, irrespective of their percentage of fault. However, the actual compensation they may collect will represent their actual damages minus an amount representing their percentage of fault.
For most people, who live from paycheck to paycheck, anything they can recover is better than nothing. For others, who enjoy a substantial package of benefits from their employer, it will represent a significant amount, even if it does not represent the full damages.
Defining Lost Wages: the Term Goes Beyond the Basic Paycheck
Once the lawyer explains the right to seek lost wages, accident victims will state the amount of their average weekly wages. However, in personal injury law, the term “wages” includes many other types of income lost due to the accident:
- Overtime pay
- Paid vacation days
- Paid sick leave
- Pay raise opportunities
- Pension plans
- Retirement funds
- Matching contributions to the employee’s life and health care insurance plans.
In some situations, these supplementary payments may even exceed the weekly ages – for example, for sales agents or hospitality workers.
You May Also Collect Damages for Loss of Earning Capacity
For some accident victims, seeking lost wages after a car accident is not enough. They have suffered life-changing injuries that do not allow them to return to their job. Thus, they must retrain for a new job, which usually pays less than the original one.
In this situation, a Baton Rouge car accident attorney will add loss of earning capacity to the client’s economic damages. This is an amount representing the estimated loss in future earnings due to the permanent disability caused by the accident.
How to Prove Lost Wages in a Car Accident Claims
In personal injury law, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff. Thus, your lawyer will need documentary evidence to prove your lost wages, such as:
- Medical report indicating how long until the person will return to work and whether they will make a full recovery or will be left with a disability
- W-2 forms from the last tax year
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Account statements proving the lost wages.
Using these documents and their experience and knowledge of the law, the attorney will negotiate fair compensation for your present and future loss of wages.
Schedule a Free Case Review with a Skilled Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyer!
Lost wages represent a significant portion of the economic damages after a car accident. And you are entitled to receive compensation, especially if the accident leaves you with a disability.
To get a fair estimation of your lost wages, bring all relevant documents to an experienced Baton Rouge car accident lawyer. You will get a reliable legal opinion regarding the estimated amount you may collect in damages. And, if your case is solid, the lawyer will represent you on a contingency fee basis.
We also offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 888-407-0911!