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A Guide To Getting Compensation For Lost Wages [Personal Injury Case]

By  Dan McCrary | March 2, 2024

Yes, you can get compensation for the loss of wages in a Personal injury case, but it’s crucial to have a solid foundation for your claim. You must be knowledgeable about what type of financial loss (loss of wages) can be included. 

You also have to calculate the amount you’ve lost in wages during the period of your injury. Then, it’s also important to gather strong evidence that shows your financial loss to support your personal injury claim. Seems difficult, right? 

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the topics mentioned above. We’re here to address questions such as whether you can get compensation for lost wages in personal injury cases, how much time it will take, and how to calculate the loss accurately.

What Are Lost Wages In A Personal Injury Case?

When we talk about the loss of wages in a personal injury case, it means the financial loss you’ve suffered, the amount you could’ve earned but failed to earn all because of injury. Below, you can read a more detailed explanation of it: 

  • Regular Salary: The primary consideration for calculating lost wages should be your regular salary. This means the days or hours you were unable to work due to your injury, resulting in missed opportunities for earning.
  • Salary Raise or Promotion: If you’re absent from work due to hospitalization or severe injuries, it could impact your chances of getting a salary raise or promotion. If this happens to you, you can factor it into your lost wages.
  • Bonus or Commissions: Any bonuses or commissions that you could have earned like your co-workers but couldn’t because of the injury can also be included in a lost wages claim.
  • Overtime or Sick Days: Always include the overtime hours you’ve missed and the financial loss you’ve suffered, including the sick days that could be used for spending time with your family.  
  • Vacation Days and Perks: Don’t overlook the vacation and perks you’ve missed due to your injury. Be sure to request compensation for both points to ensure you receive fair compensation. 

How Do You Calculate Loss of Wages In Personal Injury?

Calculating the loss of wages for personal injury cases isn’t tricky, but you’ve to select what you want to include. Once you choose what you’ll include, like salary loss, overtime loss, bonus, and so forth, you can calculate the loss following the ways mentioned below. 

Calculate The Loss For Salaried Employee

Figure out your yearly salary and the days you’re supposed to work in a year. To get the estimate of daily income, divide your annual salary by the number of working days. Then, multiply your daily wage by the days you were absent from work.

Here’s an example: 

Annual salary: $50,000 

Number of working days in a year: 250

Total days you’ve missed at work due to injury: 10 days 

$50,000 (yearly income) / 250 (working days) = $200 per day salary 

$200 (per day salary) x 10 (days you’ve missed at work) = $2,000 (Total loss). 

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Calculate The Loss For Self-Employee

Calculate how much you used to earn on average yearly by checking the bank statement of the last few years. Divide the yearly income by the days you work in a year to find out the daily earnings. Multiply the daily earnings by the days you didn’t work due to injury. 

Here’s an example: 

Average yearly income: $60,000

Number of days worked in a year: 300 days

Total days you’ve missed at work due to injury: 15 days 

$60,000 (yearly income) / 300 (working days) = $200 (per day earning)

$200 (per day earning) x 15 (days you’ve missed at work) = $3,000 (Total loss).

Calculate The Loss As Per Hourly Job

If you’re employed on an hourly basis, begin by determining your pre-accident hourly wage. Then, calculate the number of hours you missed due to the accident. You can find this by finding the daily working hours and multiplying by the number of days you’ve missed at work.

Here’s an example:

Pre-accident hourly wage: $15 per hour

Average working hours per day: 8 hours

Number of days missed due to injury: 5 days

(To calculate the hours missed, multiply the daily working hours by the number of days you were absent at work).  

8 hours (daily working hours) x 5 days = 40 hours

(If your pre-accident hourly wage was $15 per hour and you missed 40 hours of work, the calculation would be):

$15 (per hour earning) x 40 (hours you’ve missed at work) = $600 (Total loss).

How Long Does It Take To Get Lost Wages From A Car Accident?

The duration of recovery from lost wages from a car accident varies depending on the specifics of the case. If the case is complex and both parties have strong evidence and don’t want the settlement, it could extend over several months or even longer.

Alternatively, the case can also end in a few weeks if one party accepts the claim of the other one. However, it’s crucial to note that you also need time for the case investigation, gathering proof, and medical evidence. 

Final Thoughts

The simple answer to Can you get compensation for lost wages in a personal injury case is YES! It's possible to get compensation for your loss of wages, but also remember you need to prove to the court that you've suffered the losses due to the injury.

Failing to prove your loss due to injury could weaken your position against the opposing party in the court. We would advise you to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer so they can represent your case professionally with the strongest possible arguments.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.