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WAGE LOSS Wage loss in a personal injury case is a viable claim. It takes much more than missing work, however, to successfully claim it.

Like any other damage, wage loss should be established by evidence. You can’t just tell the adjuster, arbitrator or jury that you missed three weeks of work following the accident and expect compensation.

I highly recommend to my clients that they do the following to prove their wage loss claim:

  • Have a supervisor or HR person write a letter on company letter head that lists your job title, hours and days normally worked, your pay rate, commissions and overtime, together with specific dates and hours lost and a calculation of the lost wages.
  • Obtain other documentary support for the loss such as payroll stubs, timesheets and anything else that confirms the information in the above-referenced letter.
  • Obtain a no work note from your doctor who placed you on a no work status for a particular day or a period of time. This will provide the medical need to miss time from work. If it is just your decision to take a day off because you don’t quite feel up to working, you may be faced with a failure to mitigate defense from the adverse carrier.

A wage loss claim not only relates to full days missed from work, but also partial days such as hours missed for attending medical appointments. It is best, however, if you can get appointments with medical providers before or after your work day (again, think mitigation), but sometimes that is just not possible.

Some accident victims use sick time, vacation time or personal time (PTO) when they are too injured to work. Despite the fact that they have lost no money, they have, in fact, lost a benefit. Thus, instead of a wage loss claim, they have a benefits loss claim.

Lastly, if your wage loss claim is rather significant, you probably need to support it with tax returns for the three to five years prior to the accident. This will offer the adjuster, arbitrator or jury a look at your prior annual income to establish a historical basis. In other words, if you claiming a $10,000.00 wage loss for four weeks of missed work but you only averaged $25,000.00 in annual income for the three years before the accident, then there is no historical basis for the $10,000.00 claim. If you averaged an annual income of $100,000.00 for the same period, you have established a solid historical basis.

In summary, if you intend to make a wage loss claim, do it correctly with financial and medical documentation. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time and may be viewed by the trier of fact as overreaching.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Select Law. With our extensive experience in the legal field, we know what it takes to win your case. Call us at (425) 891-6691 to arrange your FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced attorney (in person, phone, zoom or your residence/hospital)


Parham Hakimi

Parham Hakimi is the founder of Select Law. Parham is passionate
about helping clients get a fresh start and victims who have
been wronged by the acts of others... Read more

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