If you have been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another, you may be entitled to recover for your economic damages, including lost wages. Lost wages are a common recoverable economic loss in personal injury cases.
If you are unable to work for a period of time after a serious injury, the income you lose during your temporary disability is commonly referred to as lost wages. When an injury causes a permanent disability but allows a return to work with a lower wage earning potential than before, this is called a reduced earning capacity. Another economic loss in personal injury matters is referred to as lost opportunities, which describes a situation where an injured person must forfeit employment opportunities presented to them because the current state of the injuries don’t allow a return to work. Yet another scenario is a permanent total disability, where an individual is left completely disabled and is unable to return to work in any capacity after an accident. All of these situations involve wage loss and economic damage caused by personal injury.
Recovering Lost Wages after a Car Accident in New Jersey
If your injury was the result of a New Jersey motor vehicle accident, you will typically turn to your own auto insurance first to recover lost wages and income.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a required coverage in standard New Jersey auto insurance policies. This insurance reimburses you for some of your losses, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Standard PIP coverage pays for a certain amount of your lost wages, in addition to medical expenses. Your policy limits cap the amount you can recover.
To collect PIP insurance payments after an accident, you must provide written notice to your insurance company as soon as possible, along with information regarding the circumstances of your accident and injuries. If your PIP coverage does not fully reimburse you for your lost wages, you may be able to seek reimbursement from the other driver’s car insurance.
Recovering Lost Wages in other Personal Injury Cases
Lost wages can also be sought in a variety of other personal injury cases. Essentially, if you are wrongfully injured in an accident or incident where someone else is liable, such as a slip and fall or defective product claim, you will be able to pursue compensation for lost wages. Often, recovery of these damages is sought through a personal injury lawsuit.
Evidence of Lost Wages
In order to substantiate a lost wage claim, you will need to produce evidence that your injury caused you to miss paid time from work. Evidence to support this type of claim may include:
- Medical records documenting the extent and degree of permanency of your injuries;
- A statement from your employer verifying the time you missed from work;
- Income tax returns documenting historical income;
- Social Security records reflecting your employment at the time of injury and annual wages; and
- Pay stubs from your employer.
To obtain compensation for future lost wages, you must establish through objective proofs that you have a permanent injury that prohibits you from returning to work. Medical, economic and vocational experts are often vital in this regard.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you have been injured in a car accident or some other incident, you may possess a claim for recovery of lost wages and other economic damages. Insurance companies have lawyers working for them, and so should you. Contact the Reinartz Law Firm to speak with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer and learn how we can help pursue compensation for your loss.