In 2021, roughly 117,300 commercial trucks were involved in accidents resulting in injuries. This number represents a 12% increase from the previous year. Truck accident victims who are forced to miss work in order to recover from their injuries might be able to file a claim for lost wages along with their other damages such as medical expenses. The experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can review your injury claim and help you prove your lost income using bank statements, pay stubs, W2s, and other documents. To determine what legal options are open to you for recovering lost income due to truck driver negligence, call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Understanding Claims for Lost Wages
In many injury cases, the victim’s lost wages make up a considerable share of the damages they incurred due to their truck accident. This is especially true of claims that involve severe injuries requiring multiple surgeries or extended recovery periods. It is important to understand that there are different types of claims for lost wages. The most common is the claim for wages that were lost while the victim was recovering from their injuries, leading to a temporary stoppage to their income. These lost wages can only be recovered for the period of time the injured victim was not able to work.
For truck accident victims whose injuries are life-altering, claims for lost or reduced earning capacity may be possible.
Claims can also be made for missed financial opportunities, which can be considered both future and current income, based on your situation. Missed financial opportunities can be a promotion, opportunities to make sales and earn commissions, or even a potential job. The possibilities are extensive, which makes strong supporting evidence so vital to your truck accident claim.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove I Was Unable to Work?
Proving that you were unable to work due to an injury is decidedly easier than proving exactly how much money you lost. Your medical records and proof supplied by your employer of how much money you make and the scheduled work days you missed due to your injuries are both effective pieces of evidence. To obtain documented proof that you were not at work, you can ask your Human Resources Department to provide records or written proof of the days you missed on behalf of your physical recovery. Failing that, your manager or direct supervisor can testify about the work you have missed.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove the Value of My Lost Wages?
Depending on your job, lost wages could be easy or incredibly challenging to calculate. For instance, proving the value of lost financial opportunities is extremely complex since you will have to show that you would have gotten the job, been able to make the sale, or gotten the promotion were it not for your injury. If, however, you are paid hourly or work a salaried position, proving your lost wages is usually fairly straightforward due to the consistency of your rate of pay and hours worked. In these cases, your most recent paystubs can be used to demonstrate how much you earn in a week or every two weeks.
Weekly or bi-weekly wages for a victim whose income is dependent on tips or commission will be harder to calculate because their pay is less consistent. For tipped and commissioned employees, your Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer might be able to use your previous year’s income tax or your Wage and Tax Statement (W2) to find out what you would have earned that same week the year before. For instance, a waitress who had to miss work during the holiday season could use the tips they earned the previous holiday season in her argument for compensation for her lost wages.
What if I Used My Paid Time Off While I Was Recovering?
Some truck accident victims choose to use their paid time off during their recovery so they don’t get too far behind on their bills. While this option is not available to every victim, those who do use it might be able to recover those days. If you make $25 an hour and you took 40 hours of paid time off to recover from your injuries, you would be eligible to claim $1,000 for the week of work that you missed.
Do You Have Questions Regarding a Truck Accident Claim?
The Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp understand how overwhelming and confusing things are for truck accident victims. That is why we work hard to make sure you understand your rights, collect evidence that proves fault, and build the strongest case possible to ensure you get maximum compensation. That is exactly how we were able to achieve a $3.5 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a man who was killed by a negligent truck driver. If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, schedule a free case review with one of our lawyers by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out our online contact form. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, and Portsmouth.