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How Are Lost Wages Calculated?

If someone else was at fault for your accident, you have a right to financial compensation. Among the damages you can claim, lost wages can be significant. If you get in an accident, you could miss work while you seek medical treatment and recover. You could also suffer lost wages if you are unable to return to work due to a severe injury or disablement. In these cases, many people wonder how they can calculate their lost wages and whether they are eligible for compensation.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve: Lost Wages

Various factors can influence how your lost wages are calculated. The most important of which is whether your doctor authorized you to stay home from work. If your doctor ordered you stay home from work, make sure you have a note. Without a note from your doctor, it can be very difficult to file a claim for lost wages.

Calculating Lost Wages

Once you have a doctor’s note in hand, you can calculate your lost wages. Keep in mind; you should not settle your insurance claim until you have healed to the extent that you can. You may need to wait until you are sure you can return to work before calculating your wages. Your lost wage calculation will depend on what kind wage you earn (e.g., hourly, salary) and whether you are missing out on additional earnings such as overtime or vacation time.

Getting Documentation

If you are an hourly employee, provide documentation for the hours you missed and the rate at which they would have been paid. Your employer or human resources manager can help provide this documentation. If you are a salaried employee and accrue benefits for hours worked, your approach will be a little different. You will need to calculate your hourly wage by dividing your salary by the hours you work each year and then multiply that amount by the hours you missed.

Importantly, you should not overlook earned benefits such as paid time off and pension benefits. Also, include loss of sales commission, bonuses, or raises you might have missed out on. Ask your employer for documentation of these lost earnings.

Getting the compensation you deserve shouldn’t be as hard as it can be. But when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you have documentation to back up every financial loss you claim. Also, be prepared to show a doctor’s note and medical records to justify your time missed from work. If you need help building a compelling argument for your lost wages claim, work with a knowledgeable Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you compile the documentation you need to make a strong claim for lost wages and make sure your Illinois personal injury claim accurately reflects your total financial loss.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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