When skin-care specialist Janet Harris was bitten by a dog back in 2011, the dog’s owners, Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife, convinced Harris not to seek medical attention. Dr. McGraw was a popular television personality and was afraid their injured guests would give them bad publicity.
When the bite developed a bacterial infection, Harris experienced a permanent hand tremor and a loss of hearing. Because Harris made her living with her hands, she was forced to shut down her business.
When Harris filed a personal injury case against the McGraws, she included loss of wages among her list of damages. Unable to run her business, Harris was able to ascribe additional money to her claim for the revenue she lost as a result of her dog bite.
If you have been involved in an accident that has left you unable to work for any period of time, an Everett attorney can help you calculate your lost wages and file a personal injury claim.
What Are Lost Wages?
If a person cannot work because of injuries sustained during an accident, the victim can pursue compensation for the money they could not earn during that time. The claim can even include reimbursement for work opportunities that were missed because of the injuries sustained from the accident.
A claim for lost wages can be pursued by victims in all kinds of employment positions, including full or part-time positions, occasional or regular employment, monthly, weekly, or hourly salaries, and even those who are self-employed.
How to Recover Lost Wages
In order to recover lost wages as part of your personal injury claim, victims need documentation from their employer, as well as written orders from a health care provider that illustrates the injured person’s workplace limitations.
An official letter from the employer should contain the victim’s name, position, hourly pay or salary amount, the standard number of hours worked during a given week, and the number of workdays they’ve missed. The letter should also indicate if the victim was forced to take any sick days, vacation time, or leave of absences during this time as well.
These letters will vary, depending on the individual and work situation. If the individual is self-employed, the process of collecting reliable data can be more time-consuming. There are also other, additional employment compensation options that victims can include. A reliable Everett personal injury attorney can assist you with this tedious and time-consuming process.
Lost Wages vs. Lost Earning Capacity
Including lost wages in the list of damages assumes that the victim can eventually return to their original occupation. A loss of earning capacity assumes that the victim’s injuries are so severe that they cannot return to their original line of work and must cope with new training or schooling in order to re-enter the workforce, often in an entry level capacity.
Between the two, a loss of earning capacity is much more difficult to prove. Courts are forced to make predictions about future promotions, raises, and progressive increase in value through improved skills in the workplace in order to determine compensation. In either case, sufficient documentation is necessary to prove either situation.
How an Everett Attorney Can Help
If you have recently been seriously injured in an Everett personal injury accident, we want to help you find full and fair compensation for both your injuries and lost wages or loss of earning capacity.
At Russell and Hill, PLLC, our experienced Everett attorneys can assist you in collecting evidence, working with insurance companies, talking with doctors, and preparing a claim.