How Do I File for Lost Wages?
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How Do I File for Lost Wages?

An accident victim’s medical expenses and lost wages are typically the most significant components of economic damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit. If you are unable to work as a result of injuries from a car accident, a slip-and-fall mishap, or any other situation where someone else’s negligence leaves you disabled, California law specifically enables you to recover your objectively verifiable monetary losses, including the salary and work-related payments that you would have received if you were able to work.  

The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have helped hundreds of Southern California accident victims to recover the largest available amount of their lost wages after they have suffered debilitating injuries as a result of another party’s negligence. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to utilize the facts of each accident case to demonstrate how an accident victim’s injuries prevent the victim from working and why the victim deserves to recover both past and future lost wages.  

How can an accident victim prove the value of his or her lost wages? 

Under California law, past and future lost wages are assessed under different standards.  

  • An accident victim’s past lost earnings are calculated based on salary, income, or wages that the victim did not receive between the date of the accident until the time when he or she was able to return to work. A personal injury lawyer might use the injured party’s past pay stubs, tax returns, or other similar documents and materials to show the actual amount of wages that were received before the accident kept that party away from work. 
  • The victim’s future lost earnings are based on evidence that shows, with a degree of probability and reasonable certainty, the earnings that the accident victim will lose as a result of the original injuries. The California Supreme Court has stated that an injured party is entitled to damages for future lost wages for the entire balance of that party’s life expectancy with no reduction of that expectancy from the injuries. For example, if at the time of an accident a victim has a 30-year life expectancy, but the accident leaves that victim permanently disabled and with a shorter life expectancy, he or she can sill recover future lost wages that cover the full 30 years.   

Can an injured party recover lost wages even if he or she can do lighter-duty work? 

California accident victims can recover damages that cover the full amount of benefits and wages they would have received if they had not been left disabled by the accident. If an injured party can do light duty work after an injury and is receiving lower pay for that work, that party can recover the difference between the reduced and the original salary. 

How can an accident victim prove that injuries are keeping him or her from working? 

The proof of an accident victim’s disabilities and inability to work is often based on medical evidence and testimony from health care providers regarding the nature and extent of a victim’s injuries. Personal injury attorneys use that evidence and testimony to craft a narrative to show, for example, how chronic pain from an injury prevents regular physical activity, or how reduced mobility from an injury makes it difficult or impossible for an injured party even to commute to a regular place of employment. The attorney’s skills and abilities can play a large role in negotiating for lost wages prior to trial and in convincing a jury that an accident victim’s injuries have caused serious impairments that keep the victim from working.   

Call the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law   

The injuries that an accident victim sustains as a result of another party’s negligence can cause long-lasting and serious disruptions in the victim’s life. The compensation that an accident victim is entitled to recover from the negligent party to replace lost wages will, in part, ease those disruptions and help the victim to get back on his or her feet. 

The personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles fight aggressively on behalf of injured accident victims in Southern California to recover the largest total damages awards that they are entitled to receive, including reimbursements for past and future lost wages. Please see our website or call us directly to speak with one of our attorneys about the past and future lost wages that you may be entitled to recover when your injuries keep you away from your job. 

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